by Judith Curry
The Center for a Better Life has published a very interesting article entitled “Task Force Climate Change: Climate Skepticism and Ways Forward,” by Cmdr. Blake McBride, U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change.
Climate skepticism is a good thing. Really. We should all question what we think we know and seek to refine our understanding of the truth. Skepticism is the very foundation of scientific inquiry, and climatology is a science, not a religious dogma or political tenet. I don’t accept every new idea I come across at face value. I determine the level of my acceptance of new ideas based upon the weight of the evidence that supports them, which is the foundation of scientific analysis. Consequently, true climate skeptics are rare and, I would propose, largely found within the scientific community.
Part of the scientific process is to question assumptions, challenge the work of colleagues, engage in heated debates and continuously strive to arrive at ground-truth. Because of this, science is self-correcting, meaning that vigorous debate, constant questioning and continuous research will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the nature of our world.
So, are the extreme weather events people are seeing today products of global climate change? The answer lies with the definition of “extreme,” which may be defined as “extending far beyond the norm.” When a 100-year flood happens twice in a decade – or even in a season, as occurred this year in the Midwest – then what was once “extreme” is now becoming more common. In other words, the climate (the average weather) is changing. Yet the analysis is not that simple. There are other potential large-scale contributing factors, like the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the effects of human development on the landscape, where large cities become heat islands and erosion causes less water to be absorbed by the ground and more to flow into riverine surges.
Twenty years from now people may be able to look back at 2011 and say these weather extremes were part of a new normal, the early indicators that climate was changing in dramatic ways. For most climate scientists, an expectation exists that global warming will incite more extreme weather events. Weather is ultimately a result of the atmosphere’s dispersion of solar heat from tropical regions to the Poles. Add more heat to the system, and the assumption is that weather will behave more energetically and perhaps more erratically. From that perspective, the extreme weather events of recent years are what one would expect from a warming planet.
The problem with climate change is that it is very complex, and while evidence continues to accrue detractors can, and do, pick data points out of context to challenge the entire premise. Moreover, while there is a large consensus in the scientific world that the climate is changing due primarily to human use of hydrocarbons, many uncertainties exist in the timing and severity of the changes.
Unfortunately, the issue of global climate change has become politicized. Heated debate rages on, not with skeptics but with political partisans. On one extreme, some people are inclined to challenge every bit of data that supports climate change. And they believe, rather illogically, that scientists who believe in human-induced climate change are part of some conspiracy. On the opposite extreme, others maintain an apocalyptic view of climate change and attribute every extreme weather event to global warming. In the middle are the skeptics, who stay focused on what is known, and who strive to learn more about what is not known.
This brings about a legitimate question. Will scientific objectivity keep people from actively working to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gasses and to adapt to changing conditions? If the culprit behind climate change is hydrocarbons placed in the atmosphere, then shouldn’t everyone try to wean themselves from it? Moreover, hydrocarbons extracted from the ground are not renewable and much of the supply comes from outside the U.S., which makes this country dependent on others for its vital energy supply.
The irony is there are many good reasons to break America’s reliance on hydrocarbons. As the thirst for oil, gas and coal grows in the developing world, competition for existing fossil fuel resources will inevitably drive prices up. The U.S. has already tapped the reserves that are easy to acquire. Drilling in deep water, or in frozen Polar Regions, will be much more expensive and those prices reflected at the pump. Moreover, increased production is a short-term fix since fossil fuels are not a renewable resource.
The article then discusses the Navy response, leading with this provocative question:
For the Department of the Navy, all this boils down to one question: Will a changing climate impact future operational readiness? When considering potential threats, military organizations do not have the luxury to wait until all the evidence is in. They must be prepared for any eventuality, and that means assessing available information and conducting prudent planning in order to ensure military readiness.
The region of most immediate concern to the Navy is the Arctic, and the essay includes a very good discussion of the national security issues associated with the Arctic Ocean.
The closing paragraphs:
During this century the world will face serious challenges from climate change, but those changes will likely happen slowly and will impact societies disproportionately. Throughout history humans have demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt. There is time to adapt to climate challenges, but adaptation is neither easy nor inexpensive. Climate change will affect U.S. coastal infrastructures, food production, health and security. It will interact with, and exacerbate, challenges to sustainability due to Earth’s rapidly expanding population and the spread of advanced technology. Its effects will be amplified by globalization of markets and expansion of global communications.
It has been said that humans have adapted their way into this climate change problem through their own cleverness via technological innovation. Isn’t it terribly cynical to insist that humans are unable to adapt their way back out of it? Earth’s changing climate and how the Nation responds to it needs to be part of a national discussion based on legitimate science. While some are more convinced of the threat that climate change poses, it is clear that neither a denial of the science nor an exaggeration of the challenges the U.S. faces will be productive to its way forward.
JC comment: In a word, Bravo! Read the entire article. In fact read the entire issue, here are some of the other relevant articles:
Climate change and innovative urban planning
Improving military energy behavior
I’ve been wondering if some of the climate assumptions have been screwing up weather forecasting. For example, if you use the slightly higher temperatures associated with the “adjustments” that have been made, would it affect some of the weather forecasts by including some imaginary heat? If you undercorrect for urban heat island effects, it could have some impact.
Ever wonder how many federal agencies have the equivalent of:
“The U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change” ?
“The U.S. Army Task Force on Climate Change” ?
“The U.S. Marine Task Force on Climate Change” ?
“The U.S. Air Force Task Force on Climate Change” ?
How many ways have public tax funds been siphoned off to support the AGW scam? Many other groups hide under the umbrella of the US Department of Defense (DOD) alone:
Doesn’t climate change concern groups hiding under the skirts of:
US Department of State (DOS)?
US Department of Labor (DOL)?
US Department of the Treasury?
US Department of Justice (DOJ)?
US Department of Energy (DOE)?
US Department of Education (ED)?
US Department of the Interior (DOI)?
US Department of Commerce (DOC)?
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)?
US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
US Department of Transportation (DOT)?
US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)?
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)?
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
“In the middle are the skeptics, who stay focused on what is known, and who strive to learn more about what is not known.”
Sorry, but thaty is silly. There really are not three distinct points of view–not if you are a scientist. There really only one actual ‘truth’ here: as Philip Stott has said, with what we actually do know, the risk of doing something is as equally unpredictable as doing nothing.
That is why skeptics turn to scientific method; and, that is why global warming alarmists abandon the scientific method.
The scientific method can also be applied to oil depletion. Do we think there is a skeptical view on peak oil, and does this skeptical view use the scientific method?
I say this because there are two moreovers from the Navy perspective.
This is written as if there is no room for doubt and it is a scientific fact. The Navy has therefore implicitly stated that climate science is a no-op because we will have to make changes to meet our energy needs in any case. We will see more and more of this perspective as we slide deeper into depletion.
I’ll be more impressed if Cmdr McBride follows up his current article and criticizes the President and the First Lady’s obscenely high-carbon vacation preferences as a threat to national security and a poor leadership example. Not likely to happen though–right Commander?
I think Cmdr McBride is a clever lad with a real future ahead of him.
“The scientific method can also be applied to oil depletion. Do we think there is a skeptical view on peak oil, and does this skeptical view use the scientific method?”
Peak oil potential ended the day the first unit was refined and consumed. The rest of “peak oil” doctrine is just as hyperbolic as many other expert claims. Why not look at 50 years of excess regulation, the involvement of governments in energy supply, distorted fiat money imbalances that have created both a debt and trade balance nightmare relating to oil as just one symptom.
Our domestic reserves are grossly understated by self-defeating restriction from many of the same club that support the AGW consensus. Regardless if the market was global and free I doubt there could be any rationalization for domestic production at all. A barrel of oil in Iraq, Iran, SA or many third world counties will have a baseline numbers far below our more matured fields and choices. Regardless at current price levels there is no shortage of investable oil in North America and the U.S. Real technology and science is opening new supplies at lower costs all the time. Peak oil = American decline if you accept the premise which I don’t regardless of clowns in the current administration and all the baggage they enable.
“Renewable” fear mongering, more swill for weak and politically motivated minds. Especially annoying coming from a Navy man considering the trillions invested in protecting trade around the globe and that there were two world wars with oil based supply themes in the mix either tactically or strategically. I wonder if Stalin would have appreciated solar panels instead of tanks in 42′ when the Germans went for the oil fields in the Caucasuses?
I’ve already seen too much of this “perspective”.
Simply asserting that “Our domestic reserves are grossly understated by self-defeating restriction from many of the same club that support the AGW consensus.” does not sound like a scientific method.
The scientific method can also be applied to oil depletion. Do we think there is a skeptical view on peak oil, and does this skeptical view use the scientific method?
The skeptical view is why are there so many schoolboy howlers in the argument.
The malthus problem is well known eg Hilberts 16th problem.
Another is the statistical nonesense applied in ascertaning reserves eg Pike 2008 (The late Head of the RSC)
But, he warns, on a worldwide basis, where emissions are fifty times the UK figure, current international plans will remain an unfulfilled fantasy because of mathematical errors in basic assumptions and a global underestimate of the true challenge ahead. His concerns are published in the December issue of the journal Significance, published this week by the Royal Statistical Society.
Dr Pike said: “This is an extraordinary challenge that must begin with the right facts. The RSC is sending a copy of the Significance article to the mathematics department of every secondary school, to expose the ‘schoolboy howler’ in statistics that is misleading governments everywhere, and compromising our ability to address the potential catastrophe that lies ahead.”
“Getting this right will enable us to focus collectively on the science to deliver, safely and securely, the solutions we need. It is this that will inspire youngsters to see these as great career opportunities.”
“Few commentators seem aware that hydrocarbons represent, coincidentally, 80% of all the provision of energy in the world for electric power, heating and transport.
You can see the how the two schools of thought at are odds. Pike says that “proven reserves” may be twice the commonly accepted figure. To him this means that we will admit twice as much carbon and that is bad from a AGW perspective. To the oil depletion analyst, it would mean a softer landing, and a skeptical view of how they derived a number twice as high as currently believed. Good estimation is where the scientific method comes in.
The only time ‘peak’ anything has occurred in the history of the world was when the cost of a substitute good was less then the cost of the original good. Nobody gets gold dental fillings anymore but there is plenty of gold still in the ground.
At the extreme ends of the ‘peak’ discussion is people who talk about how much X,Y,Z resource is sitting in the ground.
We are never going to suck all the oil out of the ground, just as we have not dug all the gold out of the ground.
CNG Vehicles are selling like hotcakes in India..because natural gas is a cheaper source of energy then pretoleum.
Gold is also a renewable resource. In practical terms, the number of non-renewable resources that exist is actually quite small. You can include Helium and guano phosphates in this short list. Gold can always be reclaimed to some extent whereas helium will get dispersed and lost, just as oil is combusted and lost.
True, but the point of oil is that it is such a convenient and concentrated form of energy, and the more we have to work for it, the less useful it is as an energy source. And then because it can only be used once, it should be equated with something like gold only with caveats attached.
(1) Gold is reusable (2) Gold has other uses. Oil has uses for synthesis of plastics, etc which is something we tend to forget.
Cmdr. Blake McBride is Brilliant. A true scientific and pragmatic perspective.
His key points for reducing our dependence on hydrocarbons:
1) No regrets policy if global warming is caused by CO2 from fossil fuels.
2) Natural security danger of depending on other nations for vital energy supply.
3) Rapid growth driving up costs.
4) Depleting resources.
Now to seriously deal with these challenges on a war time footing. We are already two decades late.
Cmdr. Blake may be brilliant, but his view reflects the Navy position which is to deal with the situation as required. Personally, Cmdr. Blake may think GW is a crock, but the Navy has to consider the scientific evidence and the political will. The article is as close to Centrist as is possible.
You can over confidently express your opinion as can Fred, but the truth normally lies in the middle.
Sorry, wrong David.
Why are you locked into the ancient “truth normally lies in the middle”??
What kind of world do you think you are living in? Normal? We should find the “middle” with “Stripes Hansen”??;
He’s on the public payroll, we should meet these people “half-way”?? This is the consensus Dr. Curry still can’t “label” politically. He’s just an “advocate” is the term she will use to avoid the discussion.
Explain the “middle” to me.
Explain the “middle” to me.
The blue pill is the machine. You cannot go down the rabbit hole without accepting the middle.
Their is no “middle” in the machine because digital logic is Boolean logic, and Boole has outlawed the middle. In the machine world, excluded middle is not just a good idea, it’s the law. The Law of Excluded Middle.
To escape the machine you must take the red pill and accept that there’s a middle. Those with no middle ground are in league with the machine world.
Excellent, Dr. Pratt, seems that there is a shortage of that particular medication in the blogosphere :)
CWON1, A middle with Hansen would not be a middle, there is left and there is left field. There will be compromise though. So the middle is when both extremes are equally dissatisfied.
The ‘middle’ generally is the center of a vortex where all is deceivingly calm with reality all ’roundit–that soon will knock you down–if you are not either prepared for the worst or have planned ahead to be somewhere else. The elderly in the UK were burning books last winter to stay warm. Does the UK and dead and dying Europe seem prepared for what may be 3 to 7 decades of global cooling?
The North Sea is depleting rapidly and matches perfectly to oil depletion theory. Most English residences are drafty by design and natural gas is getting more expensive.
David, what you call “brilliant” is just a version(s) of eco-green ratioining and social management. We probalbly have had 40 years of obtuse regulatory growth that restricts supply but the rest of your observations are doctrine not science.
Again, the Keynesian permanent war doctrine “war time footing”???
Better we throw the clowns out in 2012 and inforce the post WW2 doctrine; you mess with oil supplies to the West and you die. Why does Commander McBride think he gets paid every month? The whole rational of globalism is to maintain free trade and critical oil supply. It’s why we demiliterized Japan and Germany.
Point 1, I’ll regret anything that achieves the same state solution management as AGW under another name or rationalization.
Point 2, We under produce because of the same culture that supports AGW. Better we just remove them from power and send them back to the fringe where they belong. Better yet we should reform debt driven higher education and research funding and take their pathetic existence from them. They should be forced to work in the private sector where they might, might I say actually produce something other than trouble.
3. Not much rapid growth in this country. To a man or woman most AGW supporters are also Keynesians who depend on credit expansion and currency abuse. Universities, government jobs etc. It also links them to the China growth policy which also needs this economic system. So does OPEC. Odd the left can’t keep up who they are actually sleeping with? Do you think if we were on a gold standard all of these imbalances could be maintained? A trillion in student loan guarantees?
4. Peak oil myth, addressed on other comment on this thread.
Now is the time to throw out sniveling eco-left, send them packing to a defunded student union building while waiting for it to be privatized.
Sadly you read my post with your own “green colored” glasses.
Re “eco-green ratioining and social management”
Who said anything about that. We have the common sense recognition of depletion of finite resources and the need to transition to alternatives.
The only rationing is for scarcities during the transitions for lack of adequate preparation to handle the inevitable decline in global light crude oil. See scarcity in North Korea and Cuba after the cutoff of subsidized oil on the fall of the Soviet Union.
Re: “Point 1, I’ll regret anything that achieves the same state solution management as AGW under another name or rationalization.”
I am all for increasing the availability of solar thermochemical liquid fuels at lower costs than petroleum fuels. Pragmatic visionaries just need to work together to make the game changer break throughs needed.
Just use common sense economics rather than any AGW “cap and trade” etc.
Re: “3. Not much rapid growth in this country”
The primary cause is we are bumping up against the limits of light crude oil production.
When actuaries report statistics, it is time to sit up and listen. The global plateau in light crude oil began ~ 2004/5 after 20 years of steady growth of 1 million bbl/day each year.
Re: “4. Peak oil myth”
Wake up and look at the statistics. e.g. US 48 States oil production is down more than 50% from its peak in 1970.
Similarly look at the UK field by field data.
Don’t equivocate by changing the definition from “peak light crude oil” to “peak hydrocarbons”. The logistic or bell shaped Hubbert curve applies to a specific resource in a specific geographic region with a specific extraction technology.
For a reality check see Robert Hirsch
If you can’t read the times, its your loss, and sadly that of many more you mislead.
Agree with David that oil depletion is a no-brainer, although an scientific analysis is inflicted with the curse of hand-wavy heuristics. AGW is much more nuanced with some rather delicate balancing acts going on between forcing functions and the expected response.
Indeed, there is only one truth about the earth and we do not know it yet. There are those on this side of the global warming debate, which they cannot be all wrong; and there are those on the other side of the global warming, which they cannot be all wrong either. The truth lies in the middle and we must seek it for we cannot afford not to. The problem in finding the truth is that governments are blindly funding one side, and as long as governments keep funding a wrong science, there will be wrong science around and there will be no place for the true science, not in the foreseeable future at lease.
The Navy could help itself and everyone else best by being a venue for the development of next-gen reactors, e.g. http://energyfromthorium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=3099
This is a good idea whether you believe in CO2 doom or not. Unfortunately the issue is politicized to the point that the civilian path to development, thru the NRC, is essentially blocked.
The eco-left will never grand bargain on nuclear and carbon policy exchange. The might “yes, but you must…..” it to death while they still think they can get the Holy Grail of co2 regulations and redistribution.
Nuclear concessions are a Trojan Horse when offered by the left.
“JC comment: In a word, Bravo!”
Really? Blimey. I don’t know where to start. To me, this article is absolutely standard alarmism. You really puzzle me, Dr Curry.
James, the article is more absolutely standard pragmatism. The Navy’s mission is to maintain readiness in any eventuality. So the Navy cannot ignore possible climate impacts due to whatever reason or availability of fuels required to perform its mission. Politics and political opinion have to be deciphered continuously by the military, national and globally. It there is any one group most experienced with dealing with uncertainty, it would be the U.S. military.
The Navy’s mission is not “to maintain readiness in any eventuality.” That is impossible. The Navy, like everyone else, does what it can with limited means.
I do not see a single new thought in the excerpts.
LOL, Just because it may not be possible it not a deterrent, ask any NCO. Also the Navy is not known for very many original thoughts, just doing the impossible (or extremely difficult if you prefer) with what’s available, ask any NCO.
The phrase Improvise Adapt and Overcome springs to mind.
Dallas, I spent a lot of time helping the Navy once upon a time, for about a decade. What I lovingly call the “wacky world of weapons.” I was on the staffs of the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Research Lab and they do world class science. GPS for example, also nuclear power, among many others. NCO’s are not likely to understand this, but I think you are insulting both NCO’s and the Navy in any case. If you have something serious to say I would love to hear it, otherwise not.
David Wojick, It is not an insult. Unlike NASA GISS, a military officer is much less likely to express a personal POV at odds with the Navy POV. Cmdr. Blake’s statement was perfectly inline with the Navy as one would expect. That is not an insult or indication of some conspiratorial military defect, it is just how it is done. So I would not expect you to see “a single new thought” coming from a Cmdr. in a press release or article. I would expect an admiral or higher introducing the Cmdr if that were the case.
As I read Cmdr. McBride’s article it is his view on the subject and not the considered opinions of the “U. S. Military”. And McBride’s article has squid butt-kisser written all over it, IMHO.
Mike, all very true. Butt kisser is a prerequisite for most pay grades, ask any NCO. Cmdr. McBride’s view is a reflection of the U.S. Navy view or there would be (ret.) after his name. In another post you said you would be more impressed if the Cmdr criticized the President. I assume you don’t have much military experience.
You assume wrongly, Dallas, with regard to my military experience, which includes a hitch as a Chief’s son. Yes, the good Commander would be in a real fix if he voiced criticism of the President–a violation of the UCMJ, in fact, and “truth” is not a defense. But then, I was making a point, in an excessively subtle manner I can see, that an article like Commander McBride’s is to be taken with a grain of salt since it is not the product of a full and open debate among military members where opinions may be freely voiced. Indeed, the article is not written as officers speak–strawmen, trite “conspiracy theory” put-downs, breezy assertions. That’s the speech of a propogandist, a slicko politico. Maybe a few such fast-track chameleons slithering about the Pentagon, but not elsewhere.
And in my nearly three decades of military service, I never found butt-kissing to be a prerequisite for “most pay grades.” On the contrary, while obedience to orders was required, butt-kissing was not. At least in the service of which I was a member. And in that service, careerist chameleons were held in the highest contempt.
So it is you, Dallas, that apparently hasn’t much military experience or, alternatively, we can guess the character of your service–smooch! smooch!
Mike, “But then, I was making a point, in an excessively subtle manner I can see, that an article like Commander McBride’s is to be taken with a grain of salt since it is not the product of a full and open debate among military members where opinions may be freely voiced.” Agreed.
“On the contrary, while obedience to orders was required, butt-kissing was not. At least in the service of which I was a member. And in that service, careerist chameleons were held in the highest contempt. ” Agreed, I could have worded that better, but there are enough brown noses in many circles to be worthy of conversation. I wasn’t one by the way.
“I wasn’t one by the way.”
Glad to hear that, Dallas. And I mean that sincerely.
It harps on adaptation central planning without the emotional war of AGW acceptance. It’s a common meme Dr. Curry’s.
That there is huge collateral damage of the AGW I have no doubt. I for one will never accept the repackaging of warmists in other roles on energy related issues. They should repent or face histories judgement, until then they should be removed from authority that they seek. If you follow the blog you might see that 65 years later there is no agreement regarding the Hollywood Ten or who was really on the wrong side of history. We will likely not see peace in our lifetime.
Adaptation is one of many segue postures for defeated alarmists; other include “bio diversity”, “ocean acidification” and traditional rationing central planning “the population bomb” thinking. Some will chose liquification holding their carbon credits in hand, it’s so understated here how radical the core of AGW consensus really is.
The Hollywood Ten, for those who missed the reference, were ten witnessed who stood up to Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt and refused to name others. They went to prison and were blacklisted.
There is broad agreement that Joe McCartney was a liar and a self-serving right-wing slimeball.
The existence, in the infinite realms of internet nutjobs, of right-wingers who think that “McCarthyist” is a compliment, doesn’t mean there’s no agreement; it just means that agreement is never universal.
Where to begin with you?
Start by Googling: “wiki Hollywood Blacklist”. Then do a search for Joe McCarthy. You’ll not find a reference to his name in the body of the text–only in some book titles used for references. The refusal of the “ten” to answer the question as to whether they were or had been Communists was before the HUAC–a House Committe, not a Senate Committe (McCarthy was a Senator).
And, oh by the way, the Wiki article (with references) says of the “ten”: “…each had at one time or another been a member, most still were…”
A member of what? A member of the Communist party–a party that represented a monstrous ideology conservatively estimated to have cost the lives of more than 100 million souls–with 10’s of millions more broken in mind and body by their incarcerations in gulags, re-education camps and similarly named slave labor hell-holes.
That you’re so exercised about the poor Hollywood Ten with no mention of the millions of victims of Communism or the Communist aim to make American into a gulag police-state reveals the mentality of greenshirts like you, Robert. Gulags and mass murders, not worth a mention if it’s for the “cause”–right Robert? And for watermelons like you, Robert, Gaia is just Uncle Joe in drag–right Robert?
Just know in advance there is little to do for poor Robert who can miss any nuance of debate or misrepresent any analogy. I appreciate your observation.
To be clear, you have it right. All the whining about civil liberties about the HUAC but never a word for those communists who didn’t own up for a host of reasons while others who out of consciousness named names and to this day live in false infamy of the very political correctness that is all over AGW. The cross over is huge as I suspected would disclose.
Where does that place Dr. Curry?
There is no crime I’m asking here to reveal, no communists or traitors. She works in relatively small enclave in an eco-science area but can’t say more than there are “tribes” but she can state on camera that most of the people blogging here are “conservative, white, males” without likely have many most of them. Of her tribe some might be “activists” which might lead some of the public to think what? Mormons doing mission work? War protestors? What?
Bill Ayers helped launch the career of our current President, it’s disgrace to be associated with a terrorist but at least he admitted meeting the man. In a time of fantastic growth of the eco-green culture, living in Boulder CO, being in Climate Studies at the UCO being part of the IPCC consensus we get nada about any of these associated people and their political cultures. It isn’t relavent to a debate that largely splits on party lines?
Meanwhile another arm of the AGW movement, with backing of science associations of all sorts is in a continual smear campaign of labeling the GOP as “anti-science”. Fake polls of how few “scientists” are Republicans. A growing political correctness that is surely trying to propagate itself throughout academic life and public research funding along the same lines as the teacher unions or federal working class. She has never seen any of this either? I never asked Dr. Curry to “name names” but to at least describe the consensus players and culture she is part of as a political class.
Too much to ask, this site isn’t the cutting edge of candid is it?
It wasn’t just the Hollywood 10 who were affected by McCarthyite witchunts in the 50’s. There is more complete list here (about half way down the page):
I’d just ask about three of them. Pete Seeger, Charlie Chaplin and Paul Robeson. Pete Seeger was blacklisted for year by the US music and entertainment industries. Charlie Chaplin and Paul Robeson were exiled.
I’ve always thought these kind of over-reactions were a symptom of a sickness which seems to permeate the US Political Right. Another would be their anti-science views on such issues as AGW and Darwinian Evolution.
But maybe others have an alternative explanation?
Ah yes, the “sickness” of the right.
Here’s the sort of thing that the “diseased” right-wing mind considers the heart of the matter when considering the early Cold War:
Holomodor: 3-5 million killed by Communists
Great Leap Forward: 18-30 million killed by Communists
Cambodian Killing Fields: 1-2 million killed by Communists
And here’s what the “healthy mind” of the enlightened greenshirt, like you, tempterrain, considers the heart of the matter when considering that same era:
Two Communists and one fellow-traveler who enjoyed successful careers and the loyalty of their lefty soul-mates, suffered some employment difficulties. Why? Well, because their private employers–repeat, private employers–didn’t want to associate themselves with individuals with a history of commitment to an ideology aimed at the destruction of American Constitutional Government, its replacement by a slave-labor gulag police-state, and genocide. And, of course, the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans in Korea at Communist hands and the barbarous treatment of American POW’s at the hands of those same Communists further diminished the “entertainment” appeal of Seeger, Robeson, and Chaplin (at least for certain audiences–probably no one you would know, though, tempterrain).
You just don’t get it do you, tempterrain? But this may help you. Google: “Juan Williams NPR fired” and see how a tax-payer–repeat, taxpayer–funded (partially) entitiy of the left handles media figures with views with which the employer disagrees. And Juan Williams views did not, in the least, support an ideology of violent revolutionary over-throw of the United States, a gulag America, or genocide.
So, if I want to discredit anyone who is to the left of me on the political spectrum ( and, yes, there are plenty!) , all I need do is label them “Communists” and then trot out, if you’ll pardon the pun, the numbers you’ve quoted?
That sounds quite simple, if slightly unethical.
A lecture from you on “ethics” is a badge of honor. And by the way those “numbers” that I “trotted” out represented the lives of human beings killed by Communists–not all of that ideology’s victims, of course, but those of some its bigger culls. But they seem to only be “numbers” that “trot” to you, tempterrain, right? Didn’t Uncle Joe say something about a fatal traffic accident being a tragedy but a million deaths a mere statistic? You’ve learned your lessons well, tempterrain. Your youth masters would be proud.
tempterrain, According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the gulag was already full and the CCCP was not taking any more, at this time.
What’s in a Day? Just, ask Ivan.
The second part of my reply to your Sept 5, 5:11 am msg is out of sequence in the thread. Please see my Sept 5, 8:52 am msg below.
…who stood up to Joe’s witch hunt and refused to name others… They went to prison and were water-boarded.
O Hay, this is ‘progress’! Sixty years, look how far: They have come…
Here’s a foreigner’s view:
A few years before McCarthy got busy, the USA was led by a supercilious knickerbocker liberal, ignorant of history or deaf to its lessons, who thought that when the war he was fighting was over, the USSR, under good ol’ Uncle Joe, would cooperate with the USA in a benign, post-imperial duumvirate in which all would be happy, save the British, who would have hocked their arses to the US in defence of the free world, and then lost their empire to boot. Served ’em right, too, thought FDR, for being, well, British. His own embassy in Moscow was telling him what a lunatic Stalin was, but he chose to ignore them, and to play up to Stalin by guying Churchill, who did understand history, and could have taught FDR a lot about how to handle the empire he was unwontedly inheriting, had he but the humility to learn.
The war ended, Stalin enslaved the Poles – whose liberty had been the original casus belli of the British – and turned out to be every bit as much of a scumbag as FDR had been warned. But he wasn’t around to swallow the pill. Largely as a result of FDR’s moronic naivete, America entered the Cold War it should have seen coming militarily and psychologically unprepared, and on the back foot. Having been grievously misled by their wartime president for so many years, the American response to suddenly being told to regard the previously cuddly USSR as a threat to its existence was understandably slightly hysterical. That’s what happens when your leaders allow their prejudices to overcome the evidence of all their other senses. The acquisition by the USSR of nuclear weapons raised the pitch of anxiety to the point where weird things were almost bound to happen.
The moral of the McCarthy phenomenon for Americans ought to be – “learn your history; learn to be an empire”.
It’s very interest some of the reactions to my analogy including yours. It can lead to many sided conversations but to just to get back to my purpose;
AGW is a very partisan issue and the science enclave is in fact very eco-left and green in culture. It’s no surprise when you think of how enviromentalism and related studies have developed over the past 40 years, campus academic life etc. Do I have time to explain how every tribe and self-grouping along many lines including politics happens? No. But it’s clear AGW and the Consensus get a free pass from another related liberal tribe the MSM and they both feed their services and support each other to the direct political establishment that is in the WH at the moment. Of course there is conservative media and science enclaves but they are smaller proportional to the divide in the society. The left captured this enclave through hard fighting over decades. How many association fights and campus battles could be recorded in the past 40 years? Who do you think is really socially and politically ostracized at the Sierra Club or Greenpeace? How about on campus in Boulder CO? How about at an IPCC summary meeting?
You’ll notice no one crawls out on a limb to agrue this, it’s just the ad hominem tactic and the phony “we’re being McCarthyized” which is only another false analogy as is part of the liberal cult doctrine. Just as AGW is doctrine. Being a communist and AGW supporter isn’t a direct link but most communists love AGW policy and the property rights it undermines. I don’t mind debating the consensus supporters despite the horrid tactics that are routine. I do mind that Dr. Curry is perfectly comfortable in making a blanket culture sterotype for “skeptics” (“white, conservative libertarian, men) but can’t find a single common political current among AGW consensus parties of which she is one in a career spanning over 30 years. We get fed; there are “tribes” and “advocates” with little detail. This is very much like the put upon reaction of those who were insulted by the general HUAC effort. 65 years later it still breaks down on party lines just like AGW in many cases seen here.
What kind of “science” are we talking about with that as a debate divide??
There is a reason for the “settled science” “we’re not going to talk about is anymore” policy of the eco-left establishment. If there was an open line of communication the politically based skeptics would insist on an explaination. Knowing it’s death to the movement we have the wall of silence and obfuscation (it’s about science?…..what a joke!). Regardless that Dr. Curry and others have a technical outlook is simply no excuse for their complicity in this coverup. She’ll suffer for being honest for even making a generalization without naming names. Of course she should, it’s a question of morality.
So look at all the false outrage on the thread, “Godwin’s Rule” violations? Pathetic. How many coded or worse hate ad hominems can be found on this thread alone from that sensitive pool shouting “holocaust denier” when they don’t get their way? Where are all those self-police messages from inside the group condemning that tone? (Hint, they don’t exist in large messure even from the false moderates).
As far as history goes, false moderates can do more real damage than a raving lunatic like a Joe Romm or Jim Hansen. They in fact may be more honest while the silent radicals who were smart enough never to get called up in front of a HUAC are more damaging. While I think Dr. Curry is partially sincere given the stakes is that adequate? All of these threads break down on party line beliefs, she should comment on the nature of the IPCC political culture and backdrop. “Tribe” isn’t enough and it does matter where the observation comes from. She says she wants IPCC reform? I can’t think of a faster way than being honest about what she knows about what political stripes are worn inside the consensus.
Let me also address your complaint that I “label anyone to the left of you as a “Communist” and question my ethics accordingly. In a previous comment you mentioned three individuals: Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson, and Charlie Chaplin that I described as two Communists and one fellow-traveller.
-Pete Seeger: According to the “Pete Seeger” entry in wiki (perhaps you have a better source–if so, I’m all ears), he joined the Communist Party in 1942 though he “drifted away” from the party in the late ’40’s and 50’s–whatever that means.
-Paul Robeson: If not a Communist, Paul Robeson was a close as one could get to being a Communist without being one. Again using wiki, the “Paul Robeson” entry reveals:
*He refused to either sign an affidavit or declare under oath that he was not a member of the Communist Party, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights to refuse answering further questions while inviting Communist Party members to joint him in the voting both. While this might be seen as a mere principled action intended to show his contempt for questions directed at him, his other actions suggest something more.
*Robeson was a outspoken apologist for the Soviet Union and refused to condemn Stalin even after that monster’s crimes against humanity were revealed by no less than Kruschev.
*Robeson was awarded the International Stalin Prize which he accepted.
*Robeson wrote a eulogy for Stalin entitled, “To You Beloved Comrade” in which he praised Stalin’s “deep humanity” and dedication to peace.
*Revealingly, Robeson opposed an effort in the early 40’s to free some Communists convicted under the Smith Act. He described these “bad” comrades as allies of fascism, as one would expect of a “good” comrade. You see, tempterrain, these particular Communists sided with Stalin’s nemisis, the then-late Leon Trotsky (and, yes, tempterrain, I “got” your stupid “trot” pun, which I thought singularly repellent in its tastelessness given the subject was mass murder).
*And while the above wiki article doesn’t address the matter, Soviet tradecraft required important agents of influence to avoid open membership in the Communist Party.
-Charlie Chaplin: According to the wiki “Charlie Chaplin” article, the gentleman’s promotion of a “Second Front” (a Stalin favorite) prompted the FBI to seek termination of his residency. Sounds like “fellow-traveler” is not too strong a term for ol’ Charlie.
So I don’t think I’ve recklessly labeled anyone, tempterrain. And your breezy reference to the above gents in terms of them being vaguely to the left of you and nothing more seems to me to be a little too clever, by half.
What’s your game, pal?
I’d probably describe myself as a typical Labor voter in Australian, and UK terms, and would argue that there should be State supported education, State funded healthcare, State funded welfare etc . A mixed economy etc. The rich should pay a greater share of their income in tax than the poor. You know the sort of thing.
So, does that make me a Communist too? I don’t think I’m responsibe for mass murders, or even a single murder, but maybe I’ve got it all wrong! What do you think?
PS So Pete Seeger was blacklisted for arguing that that the Allies should have landed earlier than June 1944? I didn’t know that. Blimey, this sounds subversive in the extreme! So he should consider himself lucky he wasn’t shot?
It appears my first attempt at civil discourse failed moderation, so I’ll provide a more anodyne response.
Your remark about Pete Seeger is news to me. Got a reference? But you’re still going on about Pete Seeger without addressing in the slightest Communism’s unspeakable crimes against humanity and the culpability of those that gave aid and comfort to that monstrous ideology. You tell me why. And, oh by the way, is that a typical blind-spot among “Labor voters”?
You’ve asked me to classify you. You are obviously a “good” comrade but I can’t determine your precise niche in the cull-prone, gulag-phile, lefty hive without more information. But if I had to guess–I’d say you’re some combination of a witting tool and an expendable useful fool. And, most likely, a joke among the comrades that count.
And don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer.
The “Adapting to sea level rise” article has a great first picture…
The “Improving military energy behavior” is also great. Please don’t forget that U.S. military spend $20 billion on air conditioning annually in Iraq and Afghanistan…
The military does NOT spend $20 billion a year on air conditioning for Iraq and Afghanistan – that number came from a very bad estimate (from a source that didn’t show their calculations), and is literally 50% higher than the total fuel costs for the entire US military for a given year.
The ballpark number for total fuel costs for the military for Iraq and Afghanistan, combined, is about $1.5 billion. Two-thirds of that is supposedly used for power generation, and about 2/3 of that number is eaten up by air conditioning. So, for a more accurate guesstimate, you’re looking at under $700 million for air conditioning for those places, total.
Still a large number, but nothing like $20 billion.
The $1.5 billion number is still interesting. I assume that is per year. Say that there are 20,000 troops in Iraq and 40,000 in Afghanistan. That means that the effective usage is $25,000 spent on fuel per soldier. The average american drives 10,000 miles per year, which at 20 MPG and $3 oil is $1500. That is why the military is concerned about oil, as it is a big part of their budget.
I think the original statement was meant as sarcasm. Using those numbers instead suggests effectively spending $300,000 a year per soldier to keep them paid, fed, and acclimatized in some hellhole, with no other apparent benefit to anyone, apart from the people that are paid to do all the administrative support (which is where a lot of the money goes to).
That’s why the term “air conditioning” was used.
No, the term “air conditioning” was used to refer to… air conditioning.
I’ve seen the “$20 billion” story many times in recent weeks, and every single time it referred to – and only to – using that much money just to provide cool air for the troops. It’s a bogus story, and no, it can’t be walked back as “spending that much money for all creature comforts for our troops.”
Well that explains it. Journalists or politicians running with bogus numbers.
It reminds me of Bachmann’s statement that Obama spent $200 million dollars a day for his trip to India last year.
“Moreover, while there is a large consensus…”
Appeal to consensus.
Anyway, the Dr. Curry as Warmer Cheerleader Post has already been done before, FYI.
Two thoughts re: the “Improving Military Energy Behavior” article:
The behaviors of those living in the control house can’t be taken as a universal: a child with asthma, allergies, or other medical condition could foreclose the “open the windows” strategy. Having multiples of each type of house (and in multiple geographic areas) would have yielded more useful results.
I found this quote interesting: “The significant problem confronting DOD’s energy use has historically been an improper valuation of energy. Until several years ago, military wargaming did not even factor energy into the equation; it was simply assumed present at all times and in the quantity required.”. Given the critical nature of logistics to modern warfare (going back to WWII and prior), I find it hard to believe that was true across the board.
Common sense: If someone works for something called U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change, and wants to keep his chair, there is one basic forbidden thought: I see no problem with climate. And you don’t need any conspiracy to establish this fact. It is just the way things work.
Bringing collateral reasons to support your task (peak oil) is just an exercise to manage your insecurity. And trying to make everybody happy according to their relative power, is usually a good policy.
So, I don’t see any “uncommon sense”. But I do see a good sense if a happy life is the very reasonable goal.
I would call that projection on your part.
I think collateral reasons fall in the buckets of analysis of alternatives, decision science, trade studies, and whatever other systems engineering tasks that exist at this stage of scenario planning. The services are always planning their next war, whatever that may be..
The DEW Line in the Arctic was shut down over a quarter century ago when NWR came online. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distant_Early_Warning_Line)
In the time since, the partial clean-up in the Arctic done by Canada has been enormously expensive and problematic. The US is on the hook for $100 million, a mere fraction of the total cost.
A mere score of sites, and it took twenty five years to get only part way through the task, with years more to go.
And even three years ago, before the project was two thirds done, mired in controversy and difficulties. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2008/12/22/dewline-cleanup.html
And people speak of expanding operations in the Arctic as if it is merely a matter of the price of fuel for the ships?
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/william-amos/oil-spills_b_867535.html for the eco-left perspective on another part of the issue, which one expects has huge traction in Canada and is part of why compared to Russia (http://priceofoil.org/2011/08/31/exxon-beats-bp-to-arctic-prize/ for an alarmist take on the current state of Russian Arctic positioning) Canada is so slow off the mark in Arctic development (http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nth/st/ana-eng.asp). Apart from the staggering lesson learned from DEW.
Considering international obligations (eg http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/en/news/common/news3200.html) and the cost of even a single typical Arctic rescue operation (http://en.rian.ru/trend/rescue_okhotsk_sea_2011/), if anything, the US Navy is far from skeptical enough.
“……For most climate scientists, an expectation exists that global warming will incite more extreme weather events. Weather is ultimately a result of the atmosphere’s dispersion of solar heat from tropical regions to the Poles. Add more heat to the system, and the assumption is that weather will behave more energetically and perhaps more erratically. From that perspective, the extreme weather events of recent years are what one would expect from a warming planet.”
Actually, AGW theory says the colder drier poles will warm more than the warm moist tropics (because co2 and water vapor absorption spectrum overlaps). Thus the energy available (delta T between the tropics and poles) will decline reducing the energy available for extreme weather events. If you doubt this please explain why hurricanes/tornadoes appear in the mid latitudes (where warm and cold air mix) rather than the tropics.
delta T is about temperature.
Heat and temperature are not the same thing.
At higher ambient temperatures, the same delta T represents much more change in heat energy.
Energy absorbed at the equator is higher in density than energy at the poles, generally, both due angle of incidence and albedo.
Otherwise, you seem spot on. There are hurricanes and tornadoes.
Uh, no. Heat is a linear function of temperature. Perhaps you’re thinking of infrared radiation?
Bart – interesting.
Never heard that argument before. Besides, Dr Lindzen has made the same point as Charles Hart has and when I read Cmdr. McBride’s statement it made me pause.
Heat (specific heat) is related to Delta T by
How does ” the same delta T represents much MORE change in heat energy”? ((emphasis mine)
What am I missing here?
John N-G & Steve H
Actually, I’m ‘confusing’ Stefan–Boltzmann and calculations determining incident radiation (eg http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/16/postma-on-the-greenhouse-effect/#comment-101045).
Are you sure you’ve never heard this argument before?
The Postma thread was just full of it.
While the much lower-temperature poles will experience a greater increase in Temperature at the surface (for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they start out so much colder), they receive less energy per unit area directly from the sun, so the imbalance near the surface between the equator and the poles increases in energy (Wm^-2) and decreases in Temperature (as the energy difference varies proportionally to the fourth root of Temperature).
The system seeks the lowest state, so while Dr. Lindzen has a point about Temperature, Cmdr. McBride is right on heat energy.
While the much lower-temperature poles will experience a greater increase in Temperature at the surface (for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they start out so much colder), they receive less energy per unit area directly from the sun, so the imbalance near the surface between the equator and the poles increases in energy (Wm^-2) and decreases in Temperature (as the energy difference varies proportionally to the fourth root of Temperature).
Can’t tell from this whether we’re on the same page or not, Bart. Suppose you have a solid copper ball way out in space, painted jet black, light years from the nearest galaxy, at a starting temperature of say 1000 K. It will cool down by radiating its heat away to space as prescribed by SB.
The crucial question is, does its temperature decrease in proportion to the heat in watts that it radiates away to space, or in proportion to the 1/4 – th power (the square root of the square root) of that heat?
We can’t get past square one (so to speak) without at least getting that much straightened out.
Recruiters for tech companies might want to add this one to the list of questions they use to test job applicants.
While you’re thinking about that one, here’s another, involving not the energy in a solid but in radiation itself.
One natural definition of temperature T of a photon of wavelength ν is such that the peak wavelength of radiation from a black body of temperature T is ν.
With that definition, is the energy contained in a photon proportional to its temperature, or to the fourth power of its temperature?
It would be interesting to know how many people think these two questions have the opposite answer, vs. how many think they have the same answer. (And also if there’s anyone with an argument why neither of the two choices is the right one, for either question.)
Oops, ν is for frequency, those two ν’s should of course have been λ’s for wavelength.
Before I attempt an answer to this quite delightful (and useful, and learned) employment test, I’d like to know a few things about the job title, salary and working conditions.
And might I say, you are looking exceptionally well today, sir. Have you been working out? You seem taller.
I will tell you the way I think about it. For one, I always start with the Planck Distribution law instead of S-B. This is more fundamental and gives the statistical mechanics of the imperfect black-body, and one that you can integrate over the radiation wavelengths that you are interested in.
I use Planck with the Wolfram Alpha tool to improve my own intuition on the response of temperature to absorbing certain frequencies.
Perfect black-body is integrating all wavelengths over the standard steady-state temperature of 279K assuming no greenhouse gases (time averaged solar insolation balancing).
Then if we add 33K to this baseline temperature, corresponding to currently accepted average global temperatures, then to first order the effective GHG absorption criteria is to exclude all above wavelengths above 16 microns.
Try this out yourself and you get a general idea of what is happening. The devil is then in the details of the exact spectroscopic absorption profile for CO2 and H2O and a few other GHGs. But you definitely get the general gist of GHGs being strong absorbers of IR radiation around about 10 microns in wavelength and greater, and that the emission distribution rescales from the more perfect black-body profile to accommodate the blocking of that part of the radiation spectrum.
If you wanted an opinion of how a scientist who knows statistical physics thinks about the problem, there you go.
My reason for asking is to decide when framing my answer whether to pad with terms like gray body (ie an engineering interview) or not, consider the reason for copper (is the jet black paint lamp black or super black or vertical SWTs?) or ignore emissivity and treat as a black body.. well, a sort of red body, considering we’re just past the Draper point, or to ask if the ball is large compared to the wavelength or moving with respect to the observer, or if I mention what experimental model best simulates the clearly fictitious and impossible to construct ball light years away, or if I discuss Planck’s Law and Wein’s Displacement Law, and Einstein’s work on equipartition, or if you said the interview was for ‘math teacher’ how much could I simplify before devolving into ‘philosopher’ and becoming unemployable. ;)
Not that any of that has the least bearing on the answer.
And since λ is just the inverse of ν, I don’t know that I’d have a problem with wavelength or frequency, so the oops isn’t going to throw me. Well, until I consider Einstein.
However, my general answer to “does its temperature decrease in proportion to the heat in watts that it radiates away to space, or in proportion to the 1/4 – th power (the square root of the square root) of that heat?” would be if I instantaneously mix the copper ball at 1000K with another ball of exactly the same mass and composition at absolute zero I’d expect the temperature to be about 500K, but I’d expect the temperature to decrease at a _rate_ proportional to the 1/4th power of the heat in Watts that radiate away to space, or emitting one sixteenth the Watts at 500K what it was at 1000K. (P=σT^4)
This is why color changes with temperature, the maximum frequency light becoming less and less energetic as the copper ball cools toward longer wavelengths (lower frequencies). There’s some reasoning I’m leaving out for space, having padded with so much technobabble earlier.
(Sorry, Bart R, I got lost in the immensity of JC’s blog and couldn’t remember where I’d put this question.)
if I instantaneously mix the copper ball at 1000K with another ball of exactly the same mass and composition at absolute zero I’d expect the temperature to be about 500K
Sounds good to me.
I’d expect the temperature to decrease at a _rate_ proportional to the 1/4th power of the heat in Watts that radiate away to space, or emitting one sixteenth the Watts at 500K what it was at 1000K. (P=σT^4)
The bit after “or” looks fine, but I don’t see the connection with the first part. I’d expect the time required for the temperature of a black sphere of radius R, density d kg/m^3, and specific heat s in joules/kg to decrease from 1000K to say 700K would be
I derived this from where is the mass and $A=\frac43\pi R^2$ is the area, and did the evident integration of time t with respect to temperature T. The odds I got this right the first time are about 0.1.
Sure enough, I forgot to insert “latex” to give for the area.
Crikey, can’t do anything right: (no 1/3).
I’m grateful and delighted to see your reply, and to learn so much from it.
My original answer exceeded both my technical skill and the needs of my argument, an old story for me. I talk too much.
For McBride to be — I see now ‘right’ is a gloss, but correct in effect if ambiguous in exact details — and Lindzen merely interesting, local energy differences need only be net increased over time globally.
Colder temperature zones have a different rate of change than warmer places, eg; these differences are commonplace and dominate over Lindzen’s simpler delta T interpretation of what happens.
EG Say Vostok Station warms by 10K from 182K to 192K; Libya’s hotspot cools from 330K to 320K, the time it takes for this change (if solely radiative) is about three times as long at the hottest place on Earth on the hottest day than for the coldest place on Earth.
The same principle applies say if a warm land mass cools more slowly (being warmer) at night, so there will be a greater energy difference than there would have been (for a longer time) between the land and the cool ocean.
On a spinning globe with patterns of clouds and night and day and land and sea heated by the Sun the overall increase of heat in the system tells us McBride is right in effect about a hotter atmosphere because of the nonlinearity you have detailed.
Do I err?
Hoping my reply is not lost forever in the great mass of the blog.
“Moreover, hydrocarbons extracted from the ground are not renewable and much of the supply comes from outside the U.S., which makes this country dependent on others for its vital energy supply.”
Wrong. Much of our supply of hydrocarbons is domestic – coal and natural gas. What comes from outside the US is oil. The most direct way around the vulnerability to oil supply disruptions is to use domestic natural gas and coal derived liquids as transportation fuels. The technology for the latter has existed since at least the 1940’s.
The warmist camp frequently lies when it claims one aim is to protect us from disruption of foreign energy supply by replacing conventional electric generation with renewables. Oil is a vanishingly small proportion of electric generation fuel.
The critical issue is liquid transport fuels where the USA imports 50% to 65%. See US Oil Began to Decline in 1970.
With depletion exceeding discoveries the world faces a rapidly growing probability of global decline in light crude oil in the near future. See Gail Tverberg Oil Limits, Recession, and Bumping Against the Growth Ceiling
I think you’ll find, if you care to check, that people like James Hansen are saying that nuclear power, not the renewables, should replace coal fired power stations for the generation of electric power. That’s the first priority.
Yes, you are right that oil is used much less than it used to be for that purpose, but the burning of oil, for all purposes, still contributes significantly to every country’s GH gas emissions.
So, as priority number two, I would suggest encouraging the use of natural gas instead of oil wherever possible. It’s not a perfectly clean fuel but its a better option than oil. Its straightforward to run cars on gas rather than gasoline/petrol or diesel fuel, and certainly in Australia, cheaper too.
Looking ahead a decade or so we should see the development of the EV reach a point where it is a serious alternative to petrol/gas powered engines, and which can make use of cheap off-peak overnight power to recharge EV batteries.
Nobody knows what the climate is going to do this century. Certainly we have no means to know if it is going to be challenging change, and if it is, the speed at which that change happens. He is projecting from a base of incomplete science. No cookie.
I would like to think I am one of those Dr. Curry describes as:
“In the middle are the skeptics, who stay focused on what is known, and who strive to learn more about what is not known.”
I have also considered carefully her legitimate questions: “This brings about a legitimate question. Will scientific objectivity keep people from actively working to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gasses and to adapt to changing conditions? If the culprit behind climate change is hydrocarbons placed in the atmosphere, then shouldn’t everyone try to wean themselves from it? Moreover, hydrocarbons extracted from the ground are not renewable and much of the supply comes from outside the U.S., which makes this country dependent on others for its vital energy supply.”
With more convincing proof that hydrocarbons placed in the atmosphere will be disastrous, I would join the fight to battle this problem. I agree that hydrocarbons are not renewable, but our nation has a vast hydrocarbon energy supply in coal, oil, natural gas and oil shale that would allow us to be self-sufficient in energy and not dependent on foreign sources for hundreds of years. This should provide enough time for the science of renewable sources to be developed and cost effective infrastructure to be developed to reach required production levels. Switching from foreign sources of hydrocarbons to USA job-producing domestic sources would not increase the global net burning of fossil fuels, unless you are concerned about the resultant economic growth in the USA.
After careful review, I have not been able to conclude that the science of CO2 caused global warming is sufficiently mature in the extent of its predictions to begin now to take costly steps to reduce CO2 emissions. Also, at present, I don’t think this drastic and costly unilateral action on the part of the USA will guarantee global reductions in CO2 emissions. I fear cheaper fossil fuel based energy generation in the booming economies of Asia will accelerate the migration of US jobs to those countries that have clearly signaled they have no intention of limiting their CO2 emissions.
Therefore, changes in public policy to limit USA CO2 emissions and raise the cost of energy produciton in the USA, just aren’t a practical solution to the concern about CO2 caused global warming. If citizens feel better because of their AGW beliefs, to personally limit their CO2 emissions, then they should be free to pursue those goals, but without the assistance of ill-conceived, costly government subsidies in a patch work of legislation that distorts the path of energy generation science and production.
Our nation has clearly defined, almost universally agreed upon, and more pressing immediate economic and political problems than AGW, created by our oil imports. At the same time, we have a crisis in employment trends in the USA. We can begin to take decisive and immdediate action on solving both of these problems now with a credible long range, comprehensive energy plan for the USA that develops our vast domestic energy sources. Wind and solar can be a part of the solution where they make economic sense. But, they will never be such a major percentage of US energy production that we should ineffectively spend tax dollars to subsidize these energy sources that also seem to be driving “green manufacturing jobs” overseas.
Such a comprehensive national energy plan would within five years, begin to significantly reduce our imports of oil from countries that use that enormous wealth to finance terrorist attacks against us and the rest of the world. Our national cost to defend ourselves against the attacks are part of the economic cost of imported oil.
Our nation has been blessed with an amazing new energy gift of hundreds of years supply of cheap, clean-burning natural gas. I believe these newly found reserves are the answer for us to begin to transition away from imported oil towards energy self-sufficiency by using natural gas as a transportation fuel, (as is already done in many other countries) and thereby buying time in a long range plan, using well spent research dollars to develop cost effective renewable energy sources for the long term. More nuclear power should also be considered in such a long term plan where siting of nuclear power plants makes sense from an economic and safety point of view. If we can standardize on a safe nuclear plant design and requirements for safe siting, let’s streamline the current process for getting a nuclear power plant approved. Some research might be allocated towards the goal of how to utilize our vast coal and oil shale reserves in a more environmentally friendly way. Pilot plants to prove viability of such technologies should not be routinely blocked by environmentalists. Let’s set goals we can all agree on and then map out a plan that is consistent with those goals that will let us end up with new renewable energy sources for the longer term.
Such a long range energy plan needs the kind of definite goals, national committment, and credible time frame as was used in the 1960’s for our Apollo moon program. All parties, including energy companies, environmentalists, academics, etc. need to join together in supporting development of such a national, credible long term energy plan. Dr. Curry has previously posted at Climate, Etc. sensible ideas from her environmentalist husband that could be used as a common sense guide by environmentalists in developing such a plan together with our nation’s extremely capable and innovative energy industry.
Such a plan would not have at its core, immediate reduction of CO2 emissions, but reductions would naturally occur as we replace gasoline and diesel fuels with natural gas, and coal with nuclear power as we develop the science for longer range, cost competitive, renewable energy sources. With more time, continuing climate change research on the areas of the science we are most uncertain about, will bring us more complete understanding of natural, as well as man-made climate change drivers. Such research focused on the uncertainties in present climate change models, will give those models better validation and accuracy so that they can more convincingly be used to build concensus for global strategies for dealing with climate change. The earth’s climate history shows climate change, globally and regionally has always occurred, both from natural and human related causes. We need better climate prediction models with greater certainty in prediction of outcomes, as well as risk of unintended consequences, for any mitigation strategy.
We have time and resources . Let’s use them wisely as part of a national energy plan we can all support.
Harold, I agree with you completely. Your last paragraph ought to be the key for any future planning on energy resources,
Are you referring to this paragraph:
This may me well intended but doesn’t work according to plan. I like the way that Fischbacher explained it:
The resources aren’t used to execute a plan, they are used in the belief that eventually we will be able to execute a plan given the perfect circumstances. It’s some weird form of procrastination.
It’s a thoughtful post. I’ll not address everything and I’m sorry to put it in a box; This is the Lindsey Graham/John McCain CO2 pandering position. It’s outdated and never made any sense. “I’ll play your game if you get off my back” where the game is AGW baggage and the back is carbon/nuclear production interests.
AGW simply has to get crushed. When the tools that have been used for science abuse are returned to the owners there will be a full investigation. I suspect some will do jail time or will live in Lysenkoism/Eugenics Hall of Fame when the history is fully written.
The Neo-Socialist period will be receding in the near future, there is no reason to compromise. Why would we support all the same statism of regulations, central planning and taxes under another false talking point “adaptation” instead of more extreme “CO2 mitigation” dream? It’s still fruit of a poisoned tree.
“AGW simply has to get crushed.” ??
That would be good. No arguments from me on that point.
Maybe you could outlaw it with an amendment to the US constitution?
Another appeal to authority that I and many don’t accept;
“Moreover, while there is a large consensus in the scientific world that the climate is changing due primarily to human use of hydrocarbons, many uncertainties exist in the timing and severity of the changes.”
Did he just get off the boat? We’ve been there, done this. I’ll leave this rubbish to others.
More to the point;
“And they believe, rather illogically, that scientists who believe in human-induced climate change are part of some conspiracy.”
It isn’t a conspiracy that people form groups in certain fields and industry enclaves like the Washington Press core (90% vote for the left and usually the more extreme end). It’s been studied. Meanwhile the “consensus” flies under the flag “we’re objective scientists” which is nonsense. AGW consensus is a very partisan enclave of the eco-left. There are other features globally especially but if we can’t agree on a basic there isn’t much point in going further. Politics isn’t “a conspiracy” but the debate remains dishonest and Dr. Curry facilitates it through silence and false claims of moderation.
That the article is in the camp of sniveling “adaptation” rhetoric which is offered as a false alternative to mitigation insanity isn’t a surprise. It clearly flatters our internet host and represents the fall back to Lomborgism. A
la-la land where everyone will get along accepting half a lie in order there might be peace.
The Commander McBride accept statist consensus authority isn’t much of a surprise given his background. The argument is weak, Dr. Curry is enabling political moderation as disinformation. That’s the essense of “no-labels” and avoiding the key questions of the day.
The article uses a good analogy that he fails to follow far enough: “Imagine standing on a beach and watching a single wave rush up onto the sand. Is the tide coming in or going out? ” Just as the small short pattern of a wave is dwarfed by the tide, there are longer term fluctuations in climate that occur of thousands of years. Yet we’ve only got decades at most of evidence being used to claim human influenced climate change. Until those longer term fluctuations are understood it seems impossible to rule out any short term fluctuations we might possibly have cause being dwarfed by longer term ones. Or rule out the short term fluctuations as having been caused by the same factors we don’t well understand that cause the longer term ones.
It says “But watch the waves for an hour, and you can see the trend and say with some confidence what the tide is doing”. What concrete argument do they have that we have watched it for long enough?
Those longer term fluctuations aren’t necessarily benign just because they are natural. For all we know even if we are having an impact (a separate debate), that impact has been to prevent a new ice age.
It seems we mostly have a case of fuzzy correlation with 2 things that both are changing over time, CO2 emissions rising and temperature rising for part of the time in a fluctuating manner. The speed of computers has risen also over time so there would be vague correlation with that, this doesn’t mean there is a causal connection. Models known to be incomplete in many areas are able to be tweaked to sort of match the data over a comparatively short period of time, with no guarantee those tweaks will make it match future data because the models are incomplete.
It seems we mostly have a case of fuzzy correlation with 2 things that both are changing over time, CO2 emissions rising and temperature rising for part of the time in a fluctuating manner.
Hear, hear. There are deniers on both sides of the climate debate. One brand of climate denial is the denial that the correlation is fuzzy. To them the correlation is crystal clear, and they go nuts when anyone claims it isn’t.
Scientists can be brilliant at physics while being clueless about communication. They write outreach papers and books, which they run by the choir, which naturally approves. This convinces them that they’ve communicated clearly when all they’ve actually accomplished is to preach yet again to the choir.
I have yet to hear of a scientist who actually tested their outreach paper or book on skeptics and revised it when the weaknesses in their explanations are pointed out. They seem incapable of seeing those weaknesses.
The fuzziness of the connection between CO2 and temperature during the 20th century is a big one that they believe they can gloss over by appealing to paleoclimatology. Not only does that appeal not work as an explanation of the current correlation (other than for the choir), it causes otherwise good scientists to draw scientifically unsound conclusions, CO2 residence time being my favorite.
Climate science is turning out to be an even bigger communication crisis for science than evolution. Science is not yet up to speed on handling it.
Here! Here! BTW, a follow up question on the 1000K ball in space could be a 300K ball of salt water with an atmosphere.
From the previous comment thread on CO2 residence time, the consensus (bad word, I know) that we came to is that the correct term to use is “adjustment time”. This resolves a lot of the miscommunication problems and unsound conclusions that have rippled through that debate.
Find me a scientist or engineer that has passing familiarity with diffusional processes and we can educate them about the difference between CO2 residence time vs adjustment time.
OTOH, if they don’t understand or are unwilling to understand how diffusion works in mathematical terms, I don’t hold out much hope. That is why you defer to those that know what they are talking about to achieve consensus.
That is why you defer to those that know what they are talking about to achieve consensus.
That would work if they agreed with each other. David Archer and Mark Jacobson have both written books on climate, with Archer emphasizing popular writing and Jacobson producing a massive textbook on atmospheric modeling and another comprehensive one on atmospheric pollution. Yet when I discussed residence time with Jacobson last week, these two experts continue to have radically different estimates of residence time.
Confirmation bias is alive and well here. Those who agree with Archer dismiss Jacobson as an incompetent who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and vice versa.
Yet neither comes remotely near being a climate skeptic, being in excellent agreement on the settled part of the science, namely that half the CO2 we added to the atmosphere over the last three centuries is still there and has raised the CO2 level 40%, which we know must raise the temperature. What is far from settled is how much of the last 40 years rise in temperature is attributable to increases in atmospheric loading by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols and how much to natural fluctuations, which historically have not been negligible.
The basic principles of global warming are settled, the details are far from settled. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
Bravo? Not from me. Please note:
“When a 100-year flood happens twice in a decade – or even in a season, as occurred this year in the Midwest – then what was once “extreme” is now becoming more common.”
is followed by
“while evidence continues to accrue detractors can, and do, pick data points out of context to challenge the entire premise.”
So detractors pick data points, but for him, anecdote is the gold standard. Floods are not occurring more often, hurricanes are not occurring more often, and tornadoes are not occurring more often. And this is supposed to be the voice of reason? Sorry, Dr Curry, I don’t see it. The demonstrable fact is that extreme events have not become more common, so I don’t understand what you’re cheering about.
You don’t see it Mark because you don’t believe. What’s being flattered in this thread theme is the soon to be mainstream fall back position that McCain represented and Bush II; Adaptation funding without defining cause for warming.
The core AGWers aren’t going go along either, 30-50 years of left-wing evolution into eco-issues and solutions at the academic level isn’t going to play ball either. People have invested their whole lives on these emotions, carreers, self-identification and ego.
Short-term weather patterns over the next 25 years might (sadly) impact the final result in practice. The adaptation spin is a cry for help from those who see co2 mitigation as a lost cause, which it is. Is the writter, Dr. Curry or Lomborg really part of a reform minded science culture? It’s debatable.
An interesting, if somewhat ‘fringe’ publication. The publisher Rosemarie Calvert, seems, frankly, a bit scatterbrained. But that doesn’t diminish the value of the opinions of the experts she solicits. Look for an article in the November issue titled “Human Impacts and Future Land-Atmosphere Interactions” by Michael Dorsch. I hope it comes to fruition. Had a long talk with Rosemarie Calvert back in the spring, and the result was this potential article. I directed Michael to contact Roger Pielke Sr. because he can do much more justice to the chosen subject than I can, being retired from the field for six years. It’s a serious, nuanced, and under-appreciated subject.
It’s a serious, nuanced, and under-appreciated subject
Amen to that.
I directed Michael to contact Roger Pielke Sr. because he can do much more justice to the chosen subject than I can, being retired from the field for six years.
Until I hear both sides of the climate debate agreeing that Pielke has given a balanced account of both sides, I would amend this by inserting “his side of” before “the subject.”
“AGW simply has to get crushed. When the tools that have been used for science abuse are returned to the owners there will be a full investigation. I suspect some will do jail time or will live in Lysenkoism/Eugenics Hall of Fame when the history is fully written.
The Neo-Socialist period will be receding in the near future, there is no reason to compromise. Why would we support all the same statism of regulations, central planning and taxes under another false talking point “adaptation” instead of more extreme “CO2 mitigation” dream? It’s still fruit of a poisoned tree.”
Cwon, I like your acerbic writing style (do you write professionally by any chance) and I often find myself nodding vigorously in agreement. I just don’t see the self-conscious socialist agenda you do.
That said, maybe the solution is to get the government out of the science game altogether. I say that with some ambivalence. It’s the government under the leadership of JFK that got us to the moon. The moon itself perhaps was important only symbolically, but symbols can be crucial. They can inspire a people to try harder, a country to be better. More importantly, it was an era of great technological advancement…
I dunno. I don’t think it’s our institutions that are at fault as much human nature. One could say this whole AGW thing is a perfect storm of scientific and political self-interest, misguided altruism, and the infinite capacity for human beings to delude themselves.
I see dark days ahead. A colder world, perhaps a major, worldwide depression, interminable wars. I think what we’ve seen so far is just the beginning..
“I just don’t see the self-conscious socialist agenda you do.
That said, maybe the solution is to get the government out of the science game altogether.”
Line one say you don’t see it, line two confirms you do see it.
Even JFK might not be a democrat today, certainly he wouldn’t be accepted by this eco-left generation. I’m sure Keynes would have lived to renounce many of his Fabian views and poor ideas on debt expansion. He didn’t support permanent deficits for example. The fact that the basic theory never worked and it would be politically impossible to reduce deficits in positive economic cycles might never have been considered. Or more likely the situation which they all lived through was so horrible (WWI and aftermath) every other point of logic made little sense. That’s how we end up with 450 Trillion in world obligations, 1.14 QuadTrillion in notional derivative values.
AGW is a symptom and tool of decline. It could never have reached this mass without public funding malinvestment or incentives promised by U.N. statist doctrine. Both socialist operatives and the real “consensus” which is about state authority over resources. CO2 is a pretext.
When the decline is in terms of fossil fuel depletion true.
The current economic thinking is that all debt is based on having a cheap, convenient, and stable form of energy available. Debt in the form of asking for a loan to build a gigantic project is a good form of debt as long as you have cheap energy to be able to assist with its construction.
When that cheap energy availability starts declining, then all bets are off and the economy has to start adjusting.
The past week has revealed 3 quarters of USA productivity decline. From historical records, productivity has declined in consecutive quarters several times. The last time was in late 2008. In 1973, productivity declined five straight quarters, and then it fell four straight quarters in 1979. Significant oil shocks were behind the 1973 and 1979 productivity declines, the first with the realization that USA production had peaked.
How many times does this have to happen before it is apparent that cheap energy availability is the ultimate source of productivity gains?
AGW is a side-effect and maybe even a bit of a side-show when the economic big picture is taken into account.
That said, maybe the solution is to get the government out of the science game altogether.
Hear, hear. Then scientists could get on with the serious work of science, which is to invent and patent things for industry, instead of wasting their time on pointless government-funded basic science.
Bell Labs and IBM Research used to do a lot of basic research, but when times got hard for those companies their scientists were encouraged to focus on helping get their employers back into the black.
I worked at IBM Watson for awhile during the late golden period. The amount of money that went into the development side almost necessitated the trend toward applying resources to the technology side of things. Billion dollar fab lines are intended to have a ROI and won’t be built on a lark.
The amount of money that went into the development side
…has always been huge by comparison to basic research.
almost necessitated the trend toward applying resources to the technology side of things.
…where “resources” must mean “opportunity costs” rather than “salary costs.” Compared to development costs the salary and support costs for basic research, when properly administered, are much less and it is a false economy to divert basic research on that basis.
There is however an opportunity cost in allowing talented employees to pursue basic research when they could be revitalizing development with their insights. Long term that too is a mistake, but in the short term it may be advisable for a company with its back to the wall. The researchers need to participate in such decisions however or they’ll quit (at least back then, not today of course, there are no jobs to quit to).
The word arctic is mentioned more than two dozen times in the article, yet not one mention of the sadly deteriorated state of the US ice breaking fleet. Are they really so gullible as to expect the arctic to actually continue toward an ice free state?
The US leased a class 1A1 ice breaker with a 55,000 km range from Sweden for the past several years for work in the antarctic, But this year Sweden intends to keep it at home for the winter. Another one had to be scrounged up from Russian sources. A class 4 ice breaker with only a 3,500 km range.
Judith, it’s not at all clear what your “Bravo” was for. Was it for this:
As opposed to people like Steve McIntyre and myself, who are outside the “scientific community”? I find that insultingly arrogant, no bravo for that. The true skeptics in the climate debate are largely outside the scientific community. His statement is untrue on its face.
Was your “bravo” for this:
Most honest climate scientists will note that there has been no increase in any type of extreme events during the warming of the last century and a half. His whole argument is built on a total misconception.
He is using “100 year flood” as though that meant something. This appeal to weather would be funny if he weren’t so serious.
“Twenty years from now people may be able to look back …” is a pathetic appeal for legitimacy. For all we know, twenty years from now people may look back and laugh.
So, no “bravo” for that. Moving on …
Raw appeal to emotion, use of loaded words, accusing others of doing what he is doing (picking midwestern flood data points out of context), no scientific content at all .. no bravo from me.
In an effort to understand where this kind of nonsense is coming from, I find that the author works for “TASK FORCE CLIMATE CHANGE”, which sounds appropriately macho. TFCC, as it is known, is headed by Rear Admiral David Titley. Here’s a Navy press release about his beliefs:
At a time when even Phil Jones agrees that there has been no statistically significant warming in 15 years, and two years after Science Magazine published an article called “What Happened to Global Warming? Scientists Say Just Wait a Bit”, and we’ve waited a bit and still no warming, and ocean temperatures are kind of flat-lining, and the rate of sea level rise is decreasing, for Rear Admiral Titley to now claim that “… the rate of global warming has not slowed, and the long-term trend is rising” reveals either an extraordinary disregard for the facts, or perhaps an entrenched military position that he is determined to defend, or it might be a deliberate attempt to alarm the citizenry, or perhaps he just really doesn’t have a clue and truly believes what he’s saying.
In any case, that’s the boss of the Navy Task Force Climate Change (TFCC) speaking there, “spreading joy wherever he goes” as the song says … and in the military, the boss roolz, so it’s no surprise that Commander McBride is in agreement with his boss.
No bravos from me for any of that …
Those are all good points but it seem obvious to me that the writting flatters Dr. Curry no-label, middling, “adaptation” talk and views.
Are you familiar with “Operation Trust” after the bolsheviks took power during and after the civil war? In many ways these side movements and splits serve the same function. AGW mitigation is dead, if they can move on into the same control devices with “adaptation” themes many will be happy including Dr. Curry. It’s just a step on the road of course to total state management of energy “for the common good” of course. The lie of AGW is taken off the table but not humiliated which it deserves.
Better we should change Commander McBride’s boss is first the lesson for the day.
In Operation Trust money and intelligence was raised in the West to oppose the bolsheviks but they were littered with Soviet agents and funds in fact made there way to the regime. It started out anti-bolshevik and worse “peace advocates” who wanted a non-violent resolution in Russia but was turned over many years into a pro-Soviet funding tool. Many anti-bolsheviks were revealed and killed in the operation. Many people knew the “Trust” was a sham and participated for their own reasons. It’s food for thought here as many try to spin Dr. Curry into a climate science “reformer” with some alleged change after Climategate. All of this “communication” between “tribe” talk is like the “Trust”, a waste of resources and loss of focus. A few divisions at the right time and Lenin’s head would have been on a spike where it belonged. Millions might have been saved and history would be very different and likely better. “Highly likely” in fact. So the “third way” climate movement should be seen for what it is in many cases, a sham like the Trust. It is a symptom of AGW losing and a Fabian retreating tactics as well but it is annoying to sift through.
I appreciate your technical efforts it’s invaluable as is Steve McIntyre’s but if you think the best spagetti chart is going to win while Dr. Curry and the other “moderates” can’t even define the political leanings of the “consensus” (whom she is a member and spent much of her professional life) beyond words like “tribe” and “advocate” you are sadly mistaken. Yeah, it’s piss boil of an article and as is often the case there isn’t any science in it at all while again the mantra of “science” is claimed as AGW highground. Your reply was too nice for my taste. One last Trust reference, perhaps for some messaging to Dr. Curry;
When Stalin was done with it, funding dried up and the Trust fully exposed as double agents many of whom participated in anti-Soviet acts to legitimize their covers he repatriated as many as he could. After years of loyal service and funding to the Soviet he gave many awards and credits and then executed every last one of them for anti-Soviet behavior! The no-label third way is also to solicite weakness in the skeptic group but we should remember it’s the Joe Romm’s that dominate the AGW movement. Dr. Curry and Lomborg are sugar added to the kool-aid for taste from their point of view. If it were going the other way Dr. Curry likely wouldn’t make to a reeducation camp but then again this third way might never have existed at all.
When you play the Stalin card, you send yourself right to the fringe. As with Godwin’s Law, when your first instinct is to reach for the most extreme model as analogy, reasonable people can only take you as a nutter. Can’t people be wrong without being the equivalent of the man who killed millions? Is there really no finer tuning than that in your thinking? Can’t people be well-meaning but wrong?
Re: Godwin’s Law
In a comment thread below, I dared to ask for some intellectual curiosity and so was lumped in with the nazi Dr. Mengele. I wonder if we will hit a trifecta with this post?
Your spin of course is nonsense. When you look at the current situation, the state of decline and the brutal tactics by consensus alarmism and what has happened to dissent in particular in the academic field and university life it merrits such analogy.
It’s fools paradise to forget that there were many people who thought and worked toward Socialist Utopia in the 20’s and 30’s in the U.S.. We’re some just fools as well? Sure. Did many think they were well meaning?
There are fools in the AGW culture but there really are anti-American leftists of a very similar type to those found in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s you who are naive or sympathetic to what I’m critical of. My basic issue is about disclosure, why is it that so many on the left play through the HUAC fantasy of being victims rather that just come out and admit what most thinking people privately know including Dr. Curry? AGW is a left-wing support movement and the principal characters involved share your view not the other side that they smear with being “anti-science”. Have I seen a post here from a warmist condemning that? How about comparing people who oppose you “Holocaust Deniers”?
Well? Are you going to condemn that?
I’m not so sold on Dr. Curry’s basic “open communication” claim when something so basic is passed over. You also completely missed and distorted my analogy. No surprise, you’re a strawman artist.
Tom Lehrer and the “Old Dope Peddler with his powdered happiness.” Nice you remember Willis. It seems apt that the Armed forces will need another boogie man (global consequences of climate change) to maintain future funding. And we are addicted to our military. If the fear of this climate change boogie man drives our nation, military or not towards new or compact fuels for large transportation vehicles: ships, trucks, trains; then our adaption strategy will have a world wide benefit. Who says that it is truly an ill will that blows no one some good.
ill WIND, not will
As opposed to people like Steve McIntyre and myself, who are outside the “scientific community”? I find that insultingly arrogant, no bravo for that. The true skeptics in the climate debate are largely outside the scientific community.
“I am shocked, shocked, that anyone would consider me a false skeptic.” Great Claude Rains impression you’re doing there, Willis.
My definition of a true skeptic would be someone who has succeeded in persuading both sides in the climate debate of the truth of a proposition that they had previously disagreed on.
Claiming that you will eventually persuade the other side is pure bravado and no substitute for success.
What definition were you working with?
Vaughan Pratt | September 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm
Say what? That’s not a skeptic, that’s a “mediator” or a “peacemaker” or a “centrist” or something along those lines, but “persuading both sides” has nothing to do with skepticism.
For me, a skeptic is someone who doesn’t believe the Hockeystick until they check the math themselves … a skeptic is what all scientists should be, but far too few climate scientists are. A skeptic is someone who still thinks that the first step in advancing a new hypothesis is to falsify the null hypothesis. When the bird disagrees with the bird book or the bird model, a skeptic is the one who believes the bird. A skeptic is someone from Missouri, famous as the “show me” state …
My point was that the claim that “true climate skeptics” were to be found within the ranks of the climate science community is a sick joke. True skeptics like Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre and myself and others are outsiders.
Willis, saying “I am not a false skeptic” is like Nixon declaring “I am not a crook.” Nixon may well have believed himself not to be a crook, just as I’m sure you believe yourself to be a true skeptic, but he didn’t do himself any favors by announcing his belief, and neither do you.
Just stick to calling yourself a skeptic. In ordinary conversation the listener naturally infers from this that you believe yourself to be a true skeptic. When you feel you have to say it, it smacks of desperation and raises doubts in people’s minds about your sincerity.
McIntyre is a big phony as far as skepticism is concerned. He spent years and years in the exploration industry and likely understands full well about the limits of our energy resources (unless he has his head buried in the [tar] sand). Yet he studiously avoids any mention of oil depletion, and actually squelches this discussion on his ClimateAudit blog.
Nice that ClimateEtc is around, and I rather suspect the Etcetra of the greater climate science discussion is the intersection of AGW with considerations of peak oil and finite energy resources. That is exactly what Navy commander McBride’s analysis of alternatives is all about.
I have offered McIntyre to “audit” my comprehensive quantitative analysis of oil depletion and renewable energies, but I don’t think he will take it up anytime soon.
I suspect this is in large part what earned the “bravo:”
“While some are more convinced of the threat that climate change poses, it is clear that neither a denial of the science nor an exaggeration of the challenges the U.S. faces will be productive to its way forward.”
It is the moderate/independent attempt to have it both ways. All you people who don’t agree with AGW are stoopid. All you people who believe in CAGW are stoopid too. Only we few of the truly enlightened in the “middle” really see the truth for what it is. Dr. Curry is too polite to call others stupid or ignorant, but unfortunately has no problem praising those who do. (Her fondness for the postings of a certain truly degenerately insulting liberaltarian being a case in point.)
It is the moderate dream to show that yes central planning is necessary (AGW requires it – so conservatives are wrong), but it must be done within a free market context (because CAGW is too uncertain – so progressives are wrong too). The inherently contradictory position of the moderate/independent view (central control leads inexorably to more centralized control) is irrelevant to its adherents. The possibility that there may well be a right and wrong in the central climate debate also escapes their consideration.
And by the way, one Commander, or one Naval office, issuing a statement is not “the Navy” speaking. Any more than one bishop speaks for the Catholic Church. There are progressives in every large institution on Earth. Their ethos leads them to be drawn to positions of bureaucratic power in those institutions. But they are not the institutions themselves.
Olympia Snow is in the Republican Party. How’s that for fake advertising?
This business about Dr. Curry being “in the middle” is bit over the top, similar to the NYTimes is too moderate cry from a much larger fringe population that exists on the left.
The sniveling that goes on with AGW goals is the Lindsey Graham/McCain “reduce imports” regulatory planning that can be plugged in. We have to hit bottom but this type of pandering isn’t part of the solution at all.
Cmdr McBride says:
” And they [skeptics/deniers? PM] believe, rather illogically, that scientists who believe in human-induced climate change are part of some conspiracy. On the opposite extreme, others maintain an apocalyptic view of climate change and attribute every extreme weather event to global warming. In the middle are the skeptics”
Yes, that’s sort of right except that those in the middle are supporters of mainstream science rather than “skeptics” per se. No-one, with any scientific awareness, is saying that every hurricane is due to climate change. You may have , say, a 10% increase. But, if that means the number of serious hurricanes increases, in any given time period, from 10 to 11 there is no way of knowing which one is ’caused’ by AGW.
I see that this post has raised the question of ‘peak oil’ which Cwon1 dismisses a “myth”.
Can Cwon1 or, anyone else of similar opinion, draw any conceivable graph showing how the world’s oil resources can be consumed without having a peak in total production at some time?
They can’t. It’s a mathematical impossibility.
Of course there is a finite quantity of oil or fossil fuels. But “peak” assertions have historically been debunked by events – newly discovered reserves, more efficient recovery and/or usage methods, etc. – so that until we have experienced a fairly long period of diminishing – not merely legally restricted – supplies, it is unlikely that such claims have any validity. The time when the finiteness of such supplies becomes a worry will be when Julian Simon’s successors begin regularly losing bets about the decreasing prices of those resources. When the legitimate, market, rather than government-mediated, prices of such resources begin to rise monotonically, we will finally have economic reasons to begin using other substitutes, and maybe by then so-called “renewable” sources will become cheaper than fossil fuels – but we will probably find that they are not as cheaply renewable as claimed.
Peak oil is of course a common term that few appreciate the nuances even when it was used in a non-partisan estimate fashion as early as the 1940’s. I’m not sure when the term was actually coined. It certainly meant one thing but now has an eco-left Newspeak meaning.
I use the term “Peak oil Production Potential” because that was always highest before oil was ever used. While of course there is current field depletion there are vast discoveries and new technology that unlocks new reserves everyday. Easier oil does go first but it’s important to remember production world wide is still near peak and most of the issues are largely political in nature with the highest reserve countires like Iran, Iraq and Venezuela and the former Soviet States. In North America it’s largely excess regulations sponsored by the same people who line up with AGW narratives.
Oil if we count tar sand could last hundreds of years and it’s largely replaceable with natural gas which there is far more of. The cost remains higher than it should becuase of excess government not structural depletion which the term peak oil is misused to describe. When the observation was made in the 50’s for example it was taking both cheaper overseas oil coming on line relative to higher US extraction costs. It wasn’t commenting on actual recoverable oil assets either here or in the world. If oil is really cheaper and more stable than US production would decline. That’s why for strategic reasons we offer a subside for national security to maintain a minimal amount of domestic production. Our decline has never had to do with lack of recoverable oil only production costs and projections as well as regulatory excess.
So your graph is a narrative that is never applied in the real world for good reason. Actual project are looking their current unit costs of that project. If projected costs become too high that go unfunded. That part of the system works. The global political issues around governments, regulations and social unrest and uncertainty shouldn’t confused into a peak oil narrative but it’s essential eco-left disinformation.
Tar sand technology requires water and lots of energy to remove the oil from the earth. It needs mechanical energy to excavate and move it, and then heat in the form of natural gas to process to crude.
So it is interesting that tar sands and natural gas is less than the sum of its parts. The EROEI of tar sands should be known by now but has been estimated at 1.5:1 to 4:1.
Crude oil EROEI is also going down as it was probably at 100:1 years ago. This essentially meant that you would need 1 barrel of equivalent energy to extract 1 barrel of oil.
If the EROEI is actually only 1.5 and we are using natural gas as 1 part to extract 1.5 parts of refined crude from the tar sands, something is very wrong. Why aren’t we using natural gas as is?
The answer is simple: we are desperate and letting the free market decide what is cheapest so that we use up the oil as fast as we can.
We do this because with this alternate source of fossil fuel, we can use that energy to power our minds and technology that will allow us to more quickly find new sources for an oil replacement. At least that is how the market is rationalizing it, as it is left to its own devices.
Peak oil production is a meaningless concept and has no more validity than peak stone production.
Why don’t those worried about running out of oil just figure out when we will run out of oil? Could it be because we won’t? Could it be because humans are innovative enough to move on to another type of energy?
We extract and reform for our needs what already exists in nature. Ogg and Nog did the same during the stone age for shelter, arrowheads and axes necessary for their survival. The stone age has ended, yet due to human innovation we still have stones. The same will happen with the oil age. If you really think otherwise, perhaps you are judging humanity by your capabilities.
Wind and solar are non-starters as a replacement for oil or coal or gas as they don’t have sufficient energy density or reliability.
I feel we already have nuclear waiting in the wings to take over. With a few advances in technology we could dot the world with nuclear plants to power individual towns and even smaller power supplies for individual transportation. It just won’t happen until there is sufficient will to do it. The will to do it is unfortunately tied to politics and the fact that oil, coal and gas still beat nuclear on cost, but that won’t last forever.
But, if you think you’re doing something good by worrying about peak oil, knock yourself out.
You said better than my attempt. Peak oil is another distorted fear base excuse for the poor monetary, regulatory and global policy issues that inflate energy costs. This administration as in the 70’s and the statist supporters who are also attracted to AGW policy including Dr. Curry accept doctrine like economics such as “peak oil” or its cousin “sustainability”.
All fruit from the same central planning tree.
Three related questions that you posed.
We can’t figure out when we “run out of oil” because it is a law of diminishing returns and no one has defined the point of “running out”. If it is like a glass of water, and the half-way point is defined as “running out”, then globally we are past the half-way point on crude oil production. The half-way discovery point was actually in the early 1960’s, which is very convincing to show that we have actually run out of places to look.
So “running out” needs to be replaced with the realization that we won’t ; and that the move to another lower density form of fossil fuel energy other than crude should intelligently use what we have to make the energy return reasonable. Those behemoth trucks hauling around the tar sands aren’t running on fumes.
That is the idea behind all the energy strategy analyses, including the one by this Navy commander.
Unless, of course, it’s being replaced by new reserves, technical
discoveries, new petroleum, or new coal as fast as it’s being used.
People worried about whale oil depletion, then cheap means of kerosene (originally a trade name) extraction from petroleum, coal and peat (young coal) were discovered. People fretted over the 30 to 50 ft high piles of horse poop scattered about over larger cities, then along came steam and ic propulsion, reducing the need for horses with their poor toilet habits.
Right now, we have proven reserves of coal and natural gas to last 100+ years at accelerating usage rates. We also have an untold reserve of methane hydrate:
“The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth.
“This estimate is made with minimal information from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other studies. Extraction of methane from hydrates could provide an enormous energy and petroleum feedstock resource. Additionally, conventional gas resources appear to be trapped beneath methane hydrate layers in ocean sediments. ”
[ http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/gas-hydrates/title.html ]
Further, there is a current hypothesis that new petroleum is being constantly created as a by-product of plate tectonics. within the subduction zone, carbonates combine with water at high temperature and pressure to form hydrocarbons. It’s been shown in the laboratory to work, now to find a real world example. I would suspect undersea vulcanism might provide the right environment too. Might that be a source of some of the oceans’ petroleum “seepage”?
Look, too, for (a more efficient form of) nuclear energy to provide the lion’s share of electricity if the effing Luddites ever get out of the way.
Energy is fungible. It just doesn’t matter a whole lot whether it comes from petroleum, coal, trees (turpentine) or nuclear, but if you want to focus on hydrocarbons, the peak is so far to the right of the scale as to not be visible by our great grandchildren.
OK, so at least you admit that peak oil is a reality.
But believing in this indicates desperation on your part. The theory of abiotic oil is pure hope to counteract that fear that we will lose an uninterrupted flow of a wonderfully concentrated form of energy. It is almost biblical in terms of belief systems
I’m always skeptical about arguments based on claims that we had x number of y-year weather events within some short period z, therefore we must be experiencing some new extreme situation. A more likely explanation, in my mind, is that our weather records weren’t all that great in the first place, so the y-year claim was faulty, or maybe even we have just emerged from the extreme circumstances under which those weather events were rarer than “normal,” or that randomness flat happens in weather events and we have not enough data to really know what the average has been or “should” be.
tempterrain | September 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
I suspect that what Cwon1 is calling a “myth” are the recurring claims that we were already at (or past) global “peak oil”, which I’ve been hearing since the ’80s or so, and which (so far, although not forever) have uniformly been untrue.
There’s an additional difficulty. If you’d asked me a few years ago if the USA had already passed the peak of the natural gas production (“peak gas”) I would have said yes, and I could point to the peak year … but fracking and shale gas have proven me wrong, the idea that the USA has already seen peak gas production turns out to be a myth as well.
Add the Canadian tar sands, second only to Saudi Arabia, to that mix, plus increased future in-situ production of shale oil from the Western US … no easy way to pinpoint “peak oil” in that madness.
I think that it’s that kind of a “myth” that Cwon1 is talking about, not whether a long-term production record will contain a peak at some point.
That’s part of it. The other point is that world wide production is vastly understated. If the world was working better of course, domestic production and expensive processes wouldn’t be funded and actual production would decline. Chances are if those conditions say similar to 1998-99 for example repeated themselves few people would care. It’s human nature and leads to a monetary policy conversation which is the last thing this site needs. Of course that would split along the same party lines even while 80% of the board would have little idea of what they are supporting or discrediting.
I recall the last oil bust and those compassionate leftists at the NYTimes applauding the human suffering in Tx and LA for example. As if it were personal and they had it coming to them. Time goes by and now they whine about lack of “business investment”. They still can’t own-up to the lack of confidence in the private sector since hope and change arrived in 08′ as if their culture isn’t obvious to so many. So even while dying the private sector are to blame and should pay. The AGWers can’t figure out they are part of that culture? So the peak oil talking point is the “I hate oil companies” talking point as if this is why the price of gasoline and home heating oil is invented without their own massive restriction and regulation culture in the background.
It’s ironic and one of the reasons I harp on Dr. Curry to be more tribally candid. What’s it going to be like when they are thrown out of power next year? With the levels of disfunction and internal self-delusions so high how are they going to adjust? We really can’t fund another cycle of “Two Americas” and simply maintain the levels of publically funded largess when the only goal should be to expand private stakes.
FWIW, there was a “peak oil” scare in the 1950s, before a lot of Middle Eastern oil reserves were discovered. The problem with “peak oil” is that at any given time, it’s determined by the extents of our knowledge, not physical reality. It’s one of those quantum zen thingys.
It is actually modeled as a search problem over a finite volume of the Earth’s crust. Since parallel search is not deterministic and the individual prospecting agents are not identical, the solution can be cast in stochastic terms. This gives the classical symmetric Hubbert curve if you make a few simplifying assumptions. The potentially long tails are indeed caused by our lack of knowledge. But this knowledge eventually reaches a limit of diminishing returns as we explore every last nook and cranny in the earth’s crust. That is the physical reality of dealing with a finite space.
We are well more than halfway through in the discovery process. The global discovery peak was reached in the early 1960’s and the theory of production says that the actual production peak would occur several decades later. This part is a multiple-box model, which is apparently the same kind of analysis that climate scientists use. Multiple stages of negotiation, construction, maturation, and extraction all serve to defer the actual peak from the discovery peak in time.
We are either on the global production plateau or on a down side for likely 5 years now.
This is understood at some intuitive level, but the link above in my comment handle gives it the full mathematical treatment. I can tell you one thing, it is not one of those quantum zen things, but a good knowledge of dealing with probabilities, flows, and dispersion helps.
1. – Repeat after me – Oil Sands, Oil Sands, Oil Sands
2. – What is the usefulness of the phrase ‘Peak Oil’?
3. – What year will we run out of oil? (from any and all sources)
50 years from now? 200? 500? 750?
-based on current knowledge, technology.
-factor in population and growth offset against increase in energy efficiency.
4. – Frankly, if the answer is more than 50 years, then “Peak Oil” is just another “control phrase” to try and ram more left wing philosophy down our throats and maximize the suffering of people.
Peak oil isn’t about oil running out. It’s about the rate of extraction peaking. Reaching peak oil means that supply cannot be increased further in response to increasing demand. It will definitely happen, probably soon. The main problem is not so much the supply as the increasing demand.
As for those who claim fossil fuels are plentiful and can keep up with increased demand. Might be a nice vision, except who really wants to see Mauna Loa reporting 10ppm per year increases?
So, in 300 years it might be noticeable? The global temp (whatever that is) might be 2.1℃ warmer? Plants will grow well, and the growing season will be extended, what’s not to like?
Your conclusion as to the effects of the change is simplistic, takes into account no uncertainty and errs on the low side.
On the low side? It assumes exponential growth of anthropogenic CO₂, but not the off the wall positive feedback the CAGWers are so enamored of, and of which there has been no empirical evidence. I’m allowing for a doubling every hundred years, 3200ppm by 2300. That’s not a low-ball number. Per AGW theory, little of the temperature rise will happen in the tropics, the gradient being poleward. How can that not be beneficial to all of northern Canada and Russia? None of the theorized AGW catastrophic events have shown any empirical evidence of occurring faster than can be economically adapted to.
The low side meaning that you assume less than 1C warming per doubling of CO2. It’s more than just temperature though. You don’t grasp the serious danger of elevating CO2 to 3000ppm.
“None of the theorized AGW catastrophic events have shown any empirical evidence of occurring faster than can be economically adapted to.”
Are you counting people dying as part of economic adaptation? If sea level rise would just kill off a few tens of millions of people there’s no longer an economic problem right?
You’re getting near the real world where the ninny eco-fantasy life should just crawl under a rock. If we want lower oil prices we should get off the backs of the industry with your central planning culture. There are global issues as well but all the consuming nations, most of the world population all have the same incentives.
You have no idea about rates of extraction in the real world. Most of the world is underdeveloped. Fracking has only just started around the globe and look at average well depths. You’re a chicken little culture example.
You have no idea where the limit is for rates of extraction are and as I mentioned if those limits are higher that will result in higher CO2 levels. The longer away peak fossil fuels are, the more CO2 will rise in the atmosphere.
Now we have two fairytales at the same time lolwot? Thinking people dismiss co2 for the tripe that it is. If you are worried about peak oil you should go wildcat in Iraq.
Not knowing isn’t an opportunity to start making things up, a great lesson of AGW.
Ha ha. Full circle. This is a post about the role of the military after all. You can almost put two and two together.
Listen to what lolwot says, as he is spot on. It’s a flow problem.
Yet, with high tech, both in sensors and visualization, we can survey just about everywhere and realize what kind of pickle we are in. There are very few candidates for easy-to-access oil. We are left with all this fracing junk.
As in hope and change?
Lotsa reasonable hooey in there. “Weaning from hydrocarbons” and “easily available sources being exhausted” are examples. The US’ most easily available sources are being systematically blocked by bureaucratic and Administrative fiat. Remove those barriers, and available supply immediately jumps by a century or so.
Oil companies have had free reign to explore wherever they have wanted, either through cheap federal leasing or market-driven negotiations with land holders.
The “hope and change” argument is thus: the hope is that the small acreage of remaining protected lands have some magical oil-bearing properties and that will enable us to change into a super-powered economy.
That’s “rein”. And explore and develop are two different things. “Small acreage”? Whole states are under federal protection.
Between the feds and the NIMBY nuts and the seekers after lawsuit awards, most onshore and offshore drilling in the US has been derailed. Frak tech caught them by surprise, and Penn and other states are benefiting hugely (as are NG customers world-wide) but the usual suspects are fighting hard to stop that, too.
They know where the oil is and where it isn’t via years of seismic and other data gathering.
All this other activity is essentially a sign of desperation.
“Peak oil” sounds really silly coming out of the mouths of Westerners–especially in America which is th Mideast of coal–as coal is being mined around the world and China-made coal-fire powerplants are proceding apace.
Nice projection mixed with a change in argument.
Peak oil does not sound like a silly concept when you rationalize its reality by having to invoke coal as a replacement.
You do not worry about running out of coal. You do not worry about running out of heat from the sun Fear of running out of oil is cut from the same cloth as fear of global warming, and fear of overpopulation, and fear of capitalism, and fear of self reliance, and fear of strong women, and fear of the tea party movement, etc.
We will never run out of anything, it is about facing up to the fact of dealing with a significantly reduced flow, and of having to cannibalize our energy resources to seek new energy sources (look up the concept of EROEI, energy returned on energy invested).
The next step is to intelligently deal with renewable sources of energy. Some people fear that wind energy won’t cut it because it is an undependable source. They fear that birds and bats will be be killed.
Drivel. Renewable sources are diffuse, capital-intensive, remotely and inconveniently located (hence requiring massive new transmission corridors), variable (hence requiring both storage and backup on massive scales), and ugly as sin.
Compact conventional sources are none of the above. To hell with renewables. Fission, then fusion, will do just fine, thanks. (And while the sneer is still forming on your face, there are a few possibilities for the latter, mostly non-government funded, which have very short projected timelines. My personal favorite and darkest horse is LPPhysics.com — it is the closest to scientific breakeven of all projects and programs world-wide.)
Fine, another guy that agrees with a significant oil depletion problem.
I seriously hope that your technology works. I work the analysis angle and this info helps me to keep up with recent advances. Is that one of the class of pebble-bed reactors?
Wow, the LPPysics.com is developing a compact fusion reactor. That is impressive and challenging, like they say, in fusion you don’t get mad, you get breakeven.
Actually, I have no time for “oil depletion”. As I commented above, the only shortages are of bureaucratic and political origin.
The LPP rig would be almost ideal. Small, deployable anywhere, costs around 10% of best conventional, no neutron production (hence no radioactivity), etc. Funding to date (all private) has been <$3 million. They're about a year behind because of having to jury-rig and hand develop upgrades to switching and other equipment which didn't perform to advertised standards.
The firm's intentions are unique. It will offer inexpensive manufacturing licenses world-wide, and said manufacturers will deal with local demand and regulations as they see fit. It will put immense pressure on local regulators not to throw up roadblocks, as the competitive disadvantage of blocking access to cheap plentiful power will be so great.
They hope to have scientific breakeven and then energy surplus within a year or so, and a replicable proven prototype within 4-5 years.
Sounds reasonable. Effective marketing is a full-time proposition.
I have no time for imaginary problems, like oil depletion. Is that explicit enough to penetrate?
“Reaching peak oil means that supply cannot be increased further in response to increasing demand. It will definitely happen, probably soon. The main problem is not so much the supply as the increasing demand.”
Probably soon? Maybe yes, likely no. When is your soon? 10 years, 25?
My personal observation is that I don’t see any genuine evidence of this happening for 25+ years….at a minimum. Just folks making predictions via another form of GCM’s, or as described in a recent comment ‘hooey”
I don’t rule out human inventiveness. Especially in combination with the profit motive.
Better use of oil, Thorium reactors. Improvements in other power sources for vehicles.
Whether it’s “peak oil”, “peak gas” or “peak fossil fuels”, there is no question that there is a finite amount of total fossil fuels on our planet.
That being said, there is a lot more oil that can be produced economically at $100/bbl than at $50/bbl. And the cost of production will go up as more difficult reserves are developed and produced. And they will be.
The World Energy Council recently published a report listing “existing proven reserves” as well as “inferred possible total resources in place” of oil, gas and coal.
These resources can generally be seen to be interchangeable with the technologies that already exist today.
If these estimates are anywhere near correct, there are still around 300 years of fossil fuels at current consumption rates.
And if UN estimates of future population growth slowdown are correct (leveling off at 9 billion by the end of this century), plus there are new developments of alternate sources (fast breeder nuclear fission, cost effective renewables, nuclear fusion, etc.), there should be little concern about “peak oil”.
The other interesting bit of information from the WEC report is this: all the inferred possible total fossil fuels on our planet contain just enough carbon to raise atmospheric CO2 levels to around 1,065 ppmv, setting an absolute upper limit to AGW.
Even if we accept the unlikely IPCC assumption that 93% of the warming since 1850 was caused by CO2 (with all other anthropogenic factors, such as aerosols, other GHGs, etc. canceling one another out) we would arrive at a theoretical “maximum ever” GH warming of 2.2°C some day in the far distant future, all other things being equal.
But, as we know, all other things are very unlikely to be equal.
your theoretical maximum warming is utter baloney. Since when has the maximum theoretical warming been less than 2C per doubling of CO2? You might want to pretend that’s the maximum, but it aint is it.
Sorry, but you are wrong.
Here’s the basis for the calculation.
IPCC assumption (AR4 WG1) that 93% of the warming since pre-industrial time was caused by CO2 (with all other anthropogenic factors, such as aerosols, other GHGs, etc. canceling one another out)
radiative forcing in W/m^2
1.60 all anthropogenic forcing components, incl. CO2 = 93%
0.12 all natural forcong components, incl. solar = 7%
HadCRUT3 surface temperature record shows 0.7°C observed warming from 1850 to 2010.
C0 = 290 ppmv (CO2 concentration in 1850 per IPCC)
C1 = 390 ppmv (CO2 concentration in 2011 per Mauna Loa)
C1/C0 = 1.3448
ln(C1/C0) = 0.2962
dT(1850-today) = 0.7°C
93% due to CO2 increase = 0.65°C
Based on the WEC report on “inferred possible total fossil fuel resources in place”:
Total carbon contained = 2,870 GtC = 10,523 GtCO2
50% “remains” in atmosphere = 5,261 CTCO2
Mass of atmosphere = 5,140,000 Gt
Equals added 1,024 ppm(mass) or 675 ppmv
Add to today’s 390 ppmv = 1,065 ppmv
C2 = 1,065 ppmv (CO2 concentration when all fossil fuels consumed)
C2/C1 = 2.7308
ln(C2/C1) = 1.0046
dT (today to end of all fossil fuels consumed) =
0.65 * 1.0046 / 0.2962 = 2.2°C
That’s’ it, lolwot. Ain’t no more.
The instrumental record is not a good constraint of climate sensitivity. Your calculation not only assumes aerosols cancel out other greenhouse gases, but assumes they will continue doing so. More importantly it assumes all the warming from the forcing so far has been realized.
Consider a 4C sensitive model simulating 0.8C warming with the same forcings. The method you have used would underestimate the forcing of the model.
*sensitivity of the model
I appreciate your tenacity here, but you are throwing up data from model simulations (based largely on theoretical deliberations) against the actual physical observations, which I am citing.
Over the past 260 years IPCC tells us that other anthropogenic factors beside CO2 (i.e. aerosols, other GHGs , etc.) have cancelled one another out, and that natural forcing has caused around 7% of the observed warming.
Using these IPCC assumptions plus physically observed data we can arrive at an observed CO2 climate sensitivity, which we can then apply to the future.
Applying this to the future, based on the maximum ever CO2 concentration (as estimated from WEC data), we arrive at a “maximum ever” greenhouse warming of 2.2°C.
You are sniping at the answer with a lot of hollow verbiage but cannot come up with anything better or any solid reasons why this analysis is incorrect.
If you have an objection, come up with specifics, not simply hollow blah-blah.
“I just don’t see the self-conscious socialist agenda you do.
That said, maybe the solution is to get the government out of the science game altogether.”
“Line one say you don’t see it, line two confirms you do see it.”
Well, of course I acknowledge the apparent inconsistency with the “that said.” In the end, I’m uncomfortable with world views that claim to explain just about everything. And in any case, I don’t consider liberal programs like social security and medicare socialistic. Of course, you can argue that they are according to your definitions, in which case I’d probably demure by saying that in that ok fine, but i don’t consider that kind of socialism inherently evil. To the contrary, I view it as a noble attempt to create a more humane society. For all my current pessimism I buy the Emersonian premise of an ever evolving, ever-improving mankind.
As to Keynes, I’m no economist but in my humble opinion the very last thing we should be doing at this moment is cutting spending. Austerity measures during deep recessions/depressions always make things worse. The hypocrisy on the right these days is stunning. Their willingness, scratch that, their apparent eagerness to pursue policies that will create ever greater inequities between rich and poor, which in my opinion is the underlying cause of that decline you speak of, is appalling.
I find it ridiculous to claim that the military’s planning contingencies for climate change constitutes belief in climate change.
The military must plan for contingencies and has a plan for invasion by Canada. Does that mean that they believe Canada will invade any time soon ?
The points about planning for the time when petroleum runs out are well made. It will run out and that is much much more certain than global warming. Any military officer that didn’t take peak oil into account is in the wrong business.
Hitler ran out of oil with a little help from his enemies and look what happened to him.
Peak oil is proclaimed every few years and so far there is more oil than ever before. Some day it will occur.
I strongly support developing economical alternative energies just don’t price existing energy so high it causes depressions worldwide.
“Oil depletion theory” is a joke. A lack of fresh water caused by energy deprivation is the yardstick by which you compare serious challenges from made-up Leftist scaremongering.
How can anyone listen to Leftists pretending to speak seriously about finite resourses. Capitalism has proven over and over to be the most effective tool for the allocation of scarce resources.
Have the Leftists ever heard of financial theory. Only through free enterprise capitalism is it possible to create the highest net present wealth. Even China has learned that lesson.
Western schoolteachers are not saving the world from global warming Thermageddon. Their fears are a symptom of a civilization in decline–too much power has been given to too many who are incapabable of actually doing anything that provides value to society.
I agree that it is a joke because it is not treated seriously. None of the petroleum engineering schools teaches anything about it. The geologists and earth scientists give it a half-hearted heuristic gloss-over. The economists wave it off with a substitutability assumption.
What I have found is that if you treat the subject seriously, one can make a lot of progress in understanding the role of energy resources in general. To do the analysis properly, one has to consider probabilities and uncertainty, the role of entropy, and include models of technology acceleration.
That is in fact what I tried to do (see link in my handle), and the reason that I have started to comment on ClimateEtc is that a lot of the math of fat-tail probabilities is well suited for climate science in general. This is all just reasoning about our environment and how natural behaviors play out.
I have to smile at your attitude, because it is one of a single-minded belief (I am assuming in the market) which is really devoid of any intellectual curiosity.
I am sure Dr. Mengele would pass your intellectual curiosity test. Skepticism is, however, related to respect for truth not a lack of intellect and a blindness to the misery, poverty and death caused by secular, socialist experimentation with the lives and futures of others based on your fears and ignorance.
Godwin’s Law says that you are now done and the discussion is complete.
I would applaud your predatory skills if you used them to form a corporation and actually provide something of value to society that other voluntarily wish to buy. The liberal fascism just isn’t selling too well these days.
How can anyone listen to Leftists pretending to speak seriously about finite resourses.
To a first approximation, the world is infinite. That approximation has certainly worked well in the past hundred thousand years or so of humanity.
This thread seems to be divided down the middle between those who feel this approximation will remain good for the foreseeable future and those who don’t.
Anyone still sitting on the fence on this question is unlikely to stay it on for long after watching this video.
It’s pretty slow and boring until you get to 5:35. Suddenly all hell breaks loose.
I predict the video will leave unmoved all those who are firmly convinced that the planet’s resources will remain infinite for the foreseeable future. There are some minds that cannot be changed.
As they say in physics, science advances one funeral at a time.
Is that Paul Erlich on the mouth organ? What are you going to do now–cut off their electricity and starve’m out?
That is an interesting video, thanks. I predict the guys at http://ClimateAudit.org will complain about improper kriging of the population density points and do a principle components analysis to show how wrong it all is.
Nice video, but it misses the point that human population growth rate has already slowed down from the 1.7% CAGR seen from 1960 to 2000, and it is anticipated by the UN that it will level off at around 0,3% CAGR with population reaching around 9 billion by 2100.
The key to a slower population growth rate is higher affluence for the poorest nations, which in turn requires a low-cost energy infrastructure for these nations along with clean drinking water, etc.
Yes, resources are all “finite”. No, we are not about to “run out”.
The video argues for “lower consumption” as the solution to a hypothetical overpopulation problem.
This is the wrong answer (a 20th century response to a 21st century phenomenon). There will be MORE per capita wealth (and consumption) but a much slower population growth rate than we saw in the late 20th century.
And the wealth to energy consumption ratio (GDP/tons CO2 generated) will continue to increase, as it has in the past.
Actually, that’s not quite right either. The UN’s Population Estimates come in “bands”: high, medium, low. Historically, the low band has been the only correct one. The lowest edge of the low band, in fact.
That guideline says peak pop around 2030, <8 bn. Then slow decline.
That most academics have not shunned Ehrlich had his fellow-believers is a tell about how unserious too many of them are about honesty and integrity.
Is there actual positive evidence that extreme climate events are becoming more common? The little I’ve read suggests that, on the whole, they are not.
In addition to being skeptical, a good scientist will surely ask for positive evidence before jumping in on a theory. Yet, this article is hasty to assure everyone that the author goes along with what “most” climate scientists believe.
The Left created the “denier” meme as an attempt to marginalize William Gray, the famed hurricane expert. Gray knew of his own knowledge and years of research that what the global warming alarmists–aka climate change Chicken Littles–were claiming about main causing more severe storms was nothing more than evidence of ‘official’ ignorance and superstition and an example of politially-sanctioned science authoritarianism.
“Is there actual positive evidence that extreme climate events are becoming more common? The little I’ve read suggests that, on the whole, they are not.”
Climate events, not really. Weather events, yes, but it is hard to say if it is really significant. Satellite coverage provides more information, land use changes impact flooding and TV, internet etc. improve documentation. The impact of extreme weather is much greater due to population distribution so I will still with yes, there is evidence that extreme weather events are more common.
And you would be wrong. Frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. are all strongly down. So are fatalities. Even more so are fatalities per 1,000,000.
The ONLY metric going up is current dollar property damage. For the obvious reason that it’s more exposed and there is more of it and more has been spent on it.
Brian H, Hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, aren’t strongly anything but normal, if they where down that would be a change, wouldn’t it.
I would add, isn’t there even a problem of internal consistency here? The theory is supposedly that temperature increases lead to increased extreme events. Yet, the temperature increases over the 20th century have been small.
If we are looking at extreme events due to climate change, surely the climate needs to actually change? Under what mechanism would the weather anticipate a future change in temperature?
A good example is hurricanes. The accumulate cyclone energy ACE is just starting to come out of a minimum that nearly set a record low with better information for the past 30 years than before. So there is no direct evidence that hurricanes are increasing with climate change. The massive tornadoes in the mid west this year are about a repeat of past events. There may be some increase due to climate change, but nothing that jumps out of the noise of weather enough to be called climate.
Leftist academia has been grading its own papers for too long. No more filing cabinet full of junk science are required. School teachers who make a living peddling climate porn, preaching anti-science and anti-Americanism and scaring little children are not required
I was quite impressed by the tone of the article until I got to –
“There are also legitimate reasons to attribute those changes to human use of fossil fuels. The role of greenhouse gases in Earth’s heat budget is well understood and modeled”
Earth’s heat budget is NOT well modelled and should not be accepted as an established fact at it’s current state of inaccuracy. That he has said this suggests to me that he may be merely paying lip-service to skeptic views.
That he tells us to question everything, except the models, smacks of
skepticism on the warm side of lukewarm.
lolwot | September 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
“The low side meaning that you assume less than 1C warming per doubling of CO2. It’s more than just temperature though. You don’t grasp the serious danger of elevating CO2 to 3000ppm.”
No, that is neither a low nor high estimate. It, .7℃, is the measured increase per century throughout the industrial period. It is also the same trend as measured since mid 20th century.
As for the dangers of a 2–3℃ rise, I call bulsh. You tell me of any empirical evidence of the dangers.
“Are you counting people dying as part of economic adaptation? If sea level rise would just kill off a few tens of millions of people there’s no longer an economic problem right?”
Are you congenitally obtuse, or is it a purposely assumed role? Do you really think that tens of millions of people will die as a result of less than a 10 inch sea level rise per century? Get real.
The real danger is that a military conned by the global warming movement may fail to recognise much bigger dangers. Based on the CERN/Svensmark result, I’ve looked at the solar link and found the evidence compelling. So, I started to wonder what happened during these times.
I was intrigued to find that much of the English Civil war occurred during this period, but as it started before the Maunder minimum I ruled it out. But, then I read that it was really two wars. The first civil war resolved itself, but then it all flared up again. Could weather have caused this? Well, Charles I was beheaded in January. January in England is seldom snowy, what was it like then?
“On Tuesday 30th January 1649 Charles I was taken to Whitehall. Outside there was frost and snow.”
That event was the historical equivalent of 911. It was earth shattering. – No it was more than that. It was as if the US suddenly decided to by communist: gave up elections, gave up a constitution. England that had had monarch for around a thousand years was putting one to death – the end of monarchy.
Put enough anecdotes together … and you have a sequence of anecdotes.
Torture and fabricate proxies enough, and you can get them show any hockey stick you like.
At least they use numbers and not some qualitative feeling.
1. Someone has to explain to me how it was that before the burning of fossil fuels the Medieval warm period (”MWP”) was warmer than it is today. Greenland was so named because it was green and grapes were grown in Scotland.
2. If the MWP was not such a difficult thing to explain, Michael Mann would never have hid it when he constructed his hockey stick graph.
3. Commander Blake McBride seems not to be aware of recent (in the last 5 to 7 years) technological advances that now permit the harvesting of oil and natural gas from region size shale formations. ExxonMobil just discovered a billion barrel oil field in the Gulf of Mexico. The Democrats in Congress have for decades consistently blocked any hydrocarbon appraisals in the waters off both the East and West coasts, so we have absolutely no good idea what fossil fuel treasures may be there. The U.S., it’s becoming increasingly clear, especially as technology advances, has enormous hydrocarbon resources, so much so that there is even talk that we could eventually harvest them for export. We could have energy independence within a decade. The problem is that much of this treasure resides under lands and seas controlled by the Federal government, which has consistently not permitted robust development because of the environmental movement’s almost total control of the Democratic Party. The reason North Dakota is booming (3.2% unemployment) is because the part of the Bakkan shale formation that resides in that state is mostly in private hands, whereas the parts that reside in other states are mostly under Federal lands.
4. With probably more BTUs per capita of fossil fuel natural resources than Europe, China, India or Japan, our major economic competitors, we possess a natural economic competitive advantage, which we are not exploiting. Fossil fuel energy is, and will be for decades, the least expensive form of energy. Instead of an energy policy that plays to our natural economic advantage, we have an energy policy that plays to China’s natural economic advantage. Has anyone noticed how many heavily U.S. subsidized photovoltaic cell manufacturers have gone out-of-business lately costing American taxpayers dearly? The reason: China manufactures the cells at a lower cost. Ditto for wind turbines. What China cannot do is harvest our fossil fuel natural resources.
5. China is, however, purchasing the technology and knowhow to be able to exploit their own shale gas deposits. They have purchased part of Chesapeake Energy’s interest in one of the large shale gas formations being developed in the U.S. I have read where China may actually have larger shale gas deposits than we have. I hope you appreciate the irony. We develop (I should say the American private sector developed, as the government had nothing to do with it) the technology and knowhow to extract gas and oil from shale opening up a new source of energy and the creation of wealth. Foreigners acquire this technology and knowhow to develop their own shale deposits thereby creating massive amounts of new energy and wealth for themselves. In the meantime, our government continues to place off limits the largest reserves, and increasingly makes those reserves located under private lands less commercially viable by imposing rules and regulations with absolutely no consideration of cost versus benefit in an attempt to maintain a perfectly pristine environment. We as a country become poorer and our economic competitors become richer. The people who are driving this madness are mostly in universities and, I guess, the navy. The further irony is that both universities and the military depend upon the creation of huge amounts of wealth for their existence. Where are we going to generate this wealth in the future, from windmills and solar panels that require heavy subsidizations, and imports from China? We are traveling down the path of all great powers before us thinking that the laws of economics do not apply to us. Our reserve currency status doesn’t help either because again the Democrats think we can just keep printing and borrowing money to pay for their dreams of a perfect world and environment (taxing the rich hardly makes a dent).
6. Has anyone noticed where most of the private sector new job growth is coming from? North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, all states that are now allowing hydraulic fracturing of oil an gas shale. All of this job grow has come without any Federal subsidies. In fact, those states are benefiting immensely from the economic activity and tax revenues being generated by this energy harvest. Has anyone noticed how low the price of natural gas is? That because the supply is outrunning demand. Estimates place our reserves, at today’s level of technology, at over 100 years. No doubt, as new areas are explored and as technology continues to improve, more shale gas (and oil) will be found and produced, provided the government, in its ideological zeal, does not create a plethora of burdensome rules and regulations that makes continued development commercially impossible, which in fact is the strategy of the environmental movement. It will be the middle class who will be hurt along with universities and the military as the government will have fewer resources to pay for both.
This is just common, every day AGW apologia and fear mongering.
The author starts with an appeal to authority by claiming that only scientists can be true skeptics, then he proceeds to mis-represent weather history by falsely claiming that 100 year weather events should only occur every hundred years.
After doing so much to mislead and misrepresent the case, the rest of what he offers is frankly uninteresting.
To the extent that US defense policy is actually influenced by the faux analysis represented in this essay, we are misallocating valuable resources.
True, true–If Thomas Jefferson were alive today I am sure he would endeavor to help us all understand that if we were to act only where no contrary opinions of a global warming alarmist schoolteachers could be heard, then we would never act.
Indeed I’m still wondering how you could have qualified this paper as ”very interesting”.
I haven’t read such an accumulation of platitudes and poor scientific argumentation for a long time.
Climate debate is not a matter of belief or of religious / political dogma. It shall focus on facts and pieces of scientific evidence. As a matter of fact, climate has obviously warmed during 20th century. No dispute about that. But there are also questionable / open issues :
1) Amplitude of 20th century’s warming (+0,76°C) might be significantly over-estimated as about 60% of the figure do not result from observations but from corrections and data treatment, while the accuracy of measurement is often poor, and Urban Heat Island effect significantly under-estimated.
2) 20th century’s warming is not a constant process : it follows a global pattern with succession of roughly 30 years slight cooling periods (about -0,05°C per decade over [1880 – 1910] and [1940 – 1970] periods) then 30 years warming periods (about +0,15°C per decade over [1910 – 1940] then [1970 – 2000] periods). No model has ever been able to reproduce this global pattern of temperature variation.
3) There has been no warming over the past 13 or 14 years (which models totally failed to foresee).
Here’s the most controversial part of McBride’s claims. If warming is not disputable (except maybe in its amplitude and shape), attribution of this warming to human use of fossil fuel has never been formally demonstrated. Increasing temperatures, melting see-ice, retreating glaciers etc… are just evidence of warming. Not of human guilt. AGW theory, that incriminates human responsibility, actually fully relies on climate models’ outputs, according to which temperature variations cannot be reproduced without anthropogenic forcing. But NONE of these models has ever been duly validated. A rigorous validation process supposes a careful confrontation between observations and models’ outputs. Indeed such a process would inevitably disqualify ALL of the climate models since NONE of them is able to scrupulously reproduce temperature variations during 20th century. Claiming tat “The role of greenhouse gases in Earth’s heat budget is well understood and modeled” is just pure phantasm.
Of course this question is relevant and shall be addressed / answered by Navy chiefs. But I do not see any evidence in Cmdr McBride’s paper that could support his claim that climate change may significantly affect Navy operational readiness. Indeed, as a scientist and as a reserve officer in the French Air Force, I do not see (even if not a Navy specialist) any example or particular justification for such a claim !
McBride only provides evidence that Arctic is warming. Great news ! Deserves headlines in all papers !
Actually there is no dispute that arctic is warming, with see ice recessing. However, McBride fails (forgets) providing some key information that could temper this somehow frightening picture :
– Antarctic is cooling with increasing see-ice and ice cap.
– Arctic faced warmer decade during the 30’s : temperature records, for high latitude stations, generally show that warmest decade was observed during the 30’s (can be derived from GISS data sets !)
– Satellite observations only started in 1979 i.e just after the end of a cooling period (1942 – 1972), which means that standard see ice extent is over-estimated.
Thank you for your service to your nation, and thank you for a much more mature look at the climate issue than was unfortunately offered by LtCmdr. McBride.
One big tell is that the alleged climate crisis coincides with the advent of satellite remote sensing, as you properly point out.
Have you ever studied the history of social manias?
I believe you would find the topic fascinating.
Your thanks are welcome even if not really deserved.
I’m very interested in history and especially the common history of our two Nations, as an ancestor of mine did serve in US Army during Revolutionary War and died at Camden battle in August 1780. Unfortunately I haven’t studied the specific topic of social manias (for Climate Change debate we should even call it hysteria) as deeply as I would have liked, but no doubt it’s a fascinating topic. Nevertheless I know the rudiments of “great Global Warming swindle” history, and I’m actually wondering about how our great grandchildren will judge scientists’ compromise into such hysteria, that turns out to be the biggest scientific scam ever seen.
I’m not so sure that the advent of satellite remote sensing is the direct root cause for such hysteria. This is a just a modern tool for Earth’ monitoring. If correctly calibrated, and processed it provides key information regarding the understanding of Earth system and of its evolution. See L&C or S&B papers! The problem is rather laying in the way some scientists, blinded by political agendas and/or social manias (unfortunately scientists are also social beings likely to suffer social manias…) are sometimes (mis)handling the data…
Actually this sad (hi)story did start in the mid 70’s with the end of Apollo program, when NASA reallocated a large part of its (huge) human resources into Earth monitoring & satellite remote sensing. 1rst applications did focus on meteorology, some of the teams working on models (advent of computers is also a key factor) and others working on data acquisition & analysis. As any social organization, each team tried to grow and to increase its funding. The best way they found was to frighten people with apocalyptic descriptions of warming climate, so that people urge governments to invest massively into climate research.
As engineer working for French & European Space Agencies I have the greatest respect for NASA’s achievements (especially for bringing Man to the Moon then safely back to the Earth). But I’m still wondering how US Space Agency could have compromised its own reputation by supporting such questionable claims.